“Sophisticated solo piano effort from the hands of Joe Kenney. Are you looking for the beauty of simplicity? Do you feel the need for a curing natural sound? “Reflection No.3” could be the answer. Sit comfortably at your sofa and say goodbye to every stressful situation.”

From a set of improvisations, recorded at Morningstar Studios in Norristown, PA. The upcoming collection of piano pieces weaves together genres of ambient, jazz, and classical; and are products of meditations on points of growth and healing.

This effort follows Joe Kenney’s full band/collaborative album “Forth”, released in October 2020, and hearkens back to and expands on the vibe of Kenney’s debut album –also a solo piano album — called “Afflictions and Remedies” (2015). The idea for this newest collection started several years ago, and is the culmination of creating and workshopping “meditations” and other short improvisatory motives, which Kenney has collated on his instagram highlights. This project has been evolving concurrently with the release of Kenney’s collaborative album Forth, which released in October 2020, and is completely different in that if features vocalists and touches on genres of hip hop and funk and more, with a full band.

Joe Kenney is a recording artist, songwriter, and pianist from Philadelphia. The music on Kenney’s four albums and various collaborations span multiple genres, and are reflective of a cohesive blending of classical music theory, jazz fusion, rock, soul, and hip-hop idioms. Joe has garnered praise for both his original compositions and cover arrangements.

​His debut album, Afflictions and Remedies (2015), a solo piano album, received local airplay in Philadelphia and was also praised as a “painting of a piano at work” by Meredith Hairston, who put the album in rotation at WJSU in Jackson, MS.

In early 2016, Kenney went to work on an album of jazz and classical inspired arrangements of alternative rock and top 40 hits. Released in February 2016, the sophomore album 1.5 was recognized on broadcast radio 104.5 Philadelphia and featured on iHeartRadio. DJ Wendy Rollins characterized Joe’s cover of the Twenty One Pilots song Stressed Out as “perfection” and went on to applaud him for “re-imagining songs in a completely different format.”

Following the success of the first two solo piano albums, Joe expanded into different formats, working with a full band and honing in on a jazz fusion sound, while retaining the classically informed harmonies from his first two albums. An EP of three singles would be released in 2017, which would be the foundation and inspiration for the forthcoming 2020 album.

In March 2018, Kenney released 2.5, his third full studio album in as many years. Showcasing multiple styles and varying instrumentation, 2.5 features distinctively energized reinterpretations of eight alternative rock hits. The first half of the album features two full group instrumental tracks and two vocal arrangements, while the second half of the album features solo piano re-imaginings of four others.

In August 2018, Joe made waves with his debut orchestral performance with the Chester County Pops, where Kenney’s arrangement of his own original work Zera was premiered, alongside a performance of Chopin’s Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante.

Amidst an active performing and recording schedule with several bands and collaborators, Kenney’s latest undertaking has been the recording and unveiling of his fourth album, which features six highly decorated vocal artists from the Philadelphia area, on a ten-track original album that has music geared towards markets that cross multiple musical styles. The first single, Another Side (Ft. Joy Ike), released on May 8th, 2020, and was premiered by Neon Music (UK) with a glowing review. It was also featured on The Key/WXPN and selected as the Philly Local pick by highly popular radio personality Helen Leicht. The next two releases, All’s Not Lost (Ft. Laura Lizcano) and Gone (Ft Aaron Parnell Brown) were also met with spectacular reviews.

On October 23rd, the full album, Forth, was released to all platforms. It won a Bronze Medal in the Global Music Awards and has been featured on over 85 Radio Stations in U.S. and Canada.

Reviewed by Nagamag on 
March 12, 2021

* NOTICE: You can listen to full tracks through Nagamag’s embedded Spotify player if you have already logged in at Spotify’s website. If you are not logged in, you can still use it to listen a preview of the tracks.