Reviews of Mr. Burrows' Recordings
The influences of Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt are everywhere evident in Burrows' music, and the towering climaxes, vertiginous runs, thundering bass lines, and diaphanous tremolos in the Romance and Waltz in C sharp minor, Prelude and Rhapsody in B flat minor, and Piano Sonata and Waltz in C minor hearken back to another era of pianistic showmanship. In these works, Burrows seems to have stepped directly out of the nineteenth century, with his heart on his sleeve and his trunk full of sentimental parlor pieces.
Music from the heart
John William Burrows' Music from the Heart is a more modest effort that suits his informal keyboard style better. Because he borrows freely from classical, pop, jazz, and adult contemporary genres, his piano music feels inspired and off-the-cuff, so songs and character pieces are more appropriate for his evolving ideas ... The portraits of Judy, Nancy, and Billie are reflective and sentimental, and several other pieces on this album share their sweetly nostalgic moods, while the upbeat Cockroach and Tar Baby seem designed primarily to demonstrate Burrows' flashy playing and wide-ranging influences.
This music is unique. It cannot really be compared to anyone elses. I actually think this music was ahead of its time, in that there is a tasteful and judicious mixing of so-called "genres." Today, we continue to pigeonhole people in genres in order to market their music. ... As others have said, Burrows' music is very melodic, and, I believe, by his own admission, rather sentimental at times. But what intense playing! Great and unforgettable melodies.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Burrows back in about 1980 when I was working as a salesman in a San Francisco piano store on Van Ness Avenue. One evening this guy walked in and asked if he could play a piano. I ushered him into the room with the best Mason & Hamlin grand in it and showed him the bench. For the next hour he played almost nonstop, treating me to much of the music on this album. I was stunned! We shared stories about our piano backgrounds, as I am also a classical pianist by training and attended conservatory before leaving halfway through. I bought a tape of this album from him, and I am delighted to have just downloaded a nice clean version from CD Baby. He was very encouraging about my compositions, and I consider it a real privilege to have met him. This unusual and dynamic artist deserves greater recognition! I'm only sorry I didn't reconnect with him before he died.
Glenn Hardy (May 29, 2015)
Back in 1981-82 John used to sell cassettes of this music on Venice Beach boardwalk. Even at that time I was very impressed by the sheer ingenuity and quality of John's work. I still have the original cassette I got way back then. I am so happy that after almost 30 years I am able to purchase the same music from Amazon! And, yes, it's just as beautiful as ever! God bless you, John!
Music by a very passionate artist who left us a wonderful remembrance. I had the pleasure of hearing him perform.