Kim Pensyl is a multi-instrumentalist. He played piano with nine years, trumpet at twelve and later in a school band also bass. His favorite instrument is still the piano. No wonder, he is proud owner of a nine-foot Steinway piano, earlier resided in the home of the great Vladimir Horowitz. Kim started his solo career with the critical acclaimed Pensyl Sketches 1 (1988), 2 (1989), & 3 (1990) and A Kim Pensyl Christmas in 1989, all released by Optimism. On his next label GRP he delivered 3 Day Weekend (1991), Eyes Of Wonder (1993) and the re-release of his Christmas album (1992). When You Were Mine (1994) and Under The Influence (1996) followed on Shanachie, Quiet Cafe (1998) and Places I've Been (1999) on Fahrenheit and At The Moment (2001) on Lightyear.

While most of his earlier albums are in the smooth jazz genre, Kim decided to change his lead instrument from piano to trumpet and to concentrate on jazz, what was his original intention and musical education. Places I've Been is settled in contemporary jazz, while At The Moment was the final step to jazz. When Katie Smiles (2008) is Kim's return to contemporary jazz and to the piano.

Pensylís piano and keyboards are supported by the bass (Andy Woodson), drums (Reggie Jackson), electric and acoustic guitars (Kevin Turner) and percussion (Jim Ed Cobbs). The title song When Katie Smiles showcases Kim Pensyl in full swing. The accentuated piano melody is answered by Kevin's guitar.

Slap Happy means buoyantly or recklessly carefree or foolish (Merriam Webster). Musically transferred it's relaxed improvised performance around a theme. Where'd Love Go? has a classic attitude in the style of Chopin. A sweet ballade, the ingenious instrumental answer to The Supreme's flat lyrics.

Here Comes The Sun, oh no The Rain. Like raindrops notes are falling on your head. While Kim always performs on a melodic path, Kevin explores some improvisational ground. Pensyl's great love of music which he shares as integral part of the Jazz studies of the University of Cincinnati finds its congenial expression in his music like Grand Lake. An awesome melody in highest professionalism.

Offside contemporary trends in music Kim Pensyl shows in Beside The Shallow Pond his way to perform contemporary jazz. He stays true to himself and his musical principle. Gentlewind Dr. is named for the street on which the artist lives. In musical notes Kim describes the busy city life.

On Summer Days we can listen to an unusual duet between Kim's piano and Andy Woodson's bass. Friends of the Rhodes will love Kim's addition and also the romantic guitar enchants the audience. Far away from eccentricity Kim plays his piano on Once Again in simple elegance.

Critics often acclaim Pensylís lyrical piano poetry. On This Day is a good example for his captivating piano magic. Love Comes First reveals more of Kim's emotional side. ďAs on all my albums, When Katie Smiles is about communicating feelings born of my life experiences. This makes each album something very personal, emotional and expressive, but it also makes me a bit apprehensive since I put myself in such a vulnerable position by sharing my feelings so openly.Ē

When Katie Smiles is Kim Pensyl's very personal gift of musical feelings. Eternal Music which withstands the ravages of time.



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  • Album information:

    Title: When Katie Smiles
    Artist: Ken Pensyl
    Year: 2008
    Length: 0:44:06
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Penton Music Productions

    01 When Katie Smiles [4:08]
    02 Slap Happy [3:49]
    03 Where'd Love Go? [3:31]
    04 Here Comes The Rain [4:30]
    05 Grand Lake [4:05]
    06 Beside The Shallow Pond [4:08]
    07 Gentlewind Dr. [3:43]
    08 Summer Days [4:18]
    09 Once Again [4:05]
    10 On This Day [3:35]
    11 Love Comes First [4:17]