Stereophile review of Heart of Hearing.
ROB SCHWIMMER
Heart of Hearing
Schwimmer, piano, Theremin, Haken Continuum.
Sunken Heights Music SHM 2018. Schwimmer, prod.; Ryan Streber, Andy Taub, Max Ross, et al.,
engineers. DDD. TT: 51:08.
Rob Schwimmer has been toiling in the worlds of pop, rock, jazz, theater,
and other musical fields for 40 years, playing keyboards for Wayne Shorter,
Simon & Garfunkel, the Klezmatics, and dozens more in the spaces in between.
This is his first solo album, and it's a stunner, a medley of originals,
riffs on classics (Chopin, Obukhov), soundtracks (the theme from Vertigo),
and a string of what he calls "Hallucinations on Popular Songs"
("In the Wee Small Hours" segueing out of "Round Midnight,"
 "Sounds of Silence" transposed into minor keys).
 It's all mesmerizing, haunting, flush with drama
and wit, while skirting postmodern whimsy. Schwimmer immerses himself in whatever
genre he's traversing or transcending. Across all realms, he's a virtuoso –his
harmonies are inventive, his melodic lines infectious, his dynamics subtly
disruptive. On Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars," he scans the tune on the
Theremin –on Obukhov's Prelude No. 1, he does the same with the Haken Continuum
– while accompanying himself on piano. On the final track, an up-tempo
original called "In the Company of Friends," he heads a trio, with bassist
Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirschfeld, as if to say, "I can do this, too."
Finally, though the 17 tracks were recorded by six engineers in four studios,
the sound –mixed and mastered by Rob Friedman– is superb. The piano heaves the
proper mix of percussion and bloom; his slightest filigrees burst through in
all their shade and detail. The Theremin and Continuum are magical.
  Fred Kaplan -- Stereophile (August 2019)