The Journey North – Michael Gettel

The Journey North - Michael Gettel Artist: Michael Gettel
Album: The Journey North
Release Date: March 23, 1999
Duration: 01:00:26
Genre: New Age, Jazz
Styles: Adult Alternative, Chamber Jazz, Solo Instrumental, Keyboard/Synthesizer/New Age
Recording Date: November, 1998 & December, 1998
Recording Location: Triad Studios, Seattle, WA

Whether focusing on emotional piano solos or surrounding a vast array of synth sounds with powerful jazz-rock ensembles, Michael Gettel has been a master of musical nature photography and spiritual travelogues. On previous albums San Juan Suite and Skywatching, he used both approaches to convey his great sense of awe at the beauty of Washington’s San Juan Islands and the Southwest. On the Celtic-flavored The Journey North, Gettel floats across the Atlantic, tracing his Scottish ancestry by traveling up the coast of the British Isles. At each stop along the way, he draws upon new age, rock, pop, and classical influences to create multi-movement pieces that shift easily from graceful piano reflections into more percussive, guitar-driven statements that often include the harmonic wailing cries of Jerry O’Sullivan’s uillean pipes. On “Hadrian’s Wall,” Gettel opens with a David Lanz-like interlude before Brian Theissen’s strumming acoustic guitar and Sandin Wilson’s moody fretless bass create a seductive bed upon which O’Sullivan echoes every one of Gettel’s jumpy piano riffs. Gettel masterfully bridges the centuries between his ancestors and his life today (living near Seattle) on “Loch Ness (The Kelpie),” which adds to the happy-go-lucky piano melody of the original solo piano version (on 1998’s reissue of San Juan Suite) with dense percussion and soaring pipes.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Ceud Mile Failte (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes) / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 4:42
The Journey North / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 5:37
Hadrian’s Wall / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 6:08
Cumbrian Autumn (Dove Cottage) / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 6:43
Galloway / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 7:14
The Memory Stone / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 6:13
Loch Ness (The Kelpie) / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 5:02
Celtic Knot / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 4:55
Columcille’s Dream / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 7:13
Reaching Iona (Breath of God) / Michael Gettel Michael Gettel 6:39

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