This I Know: Ageless Hymns of Faith – Reviews
“Seems simple: our favorite hymns covered on the piano. Yet, it’s so much more than that–Bjorck reworks each composition, and upon initial listen the musical themes are almost unrecognizable. Known for his Pure Piano Music series, he relies on the simplicity of solo acoustic piano to convey his message. It works, too. Unique arrangements make up for the minimalist instrumentation. At times you’ll find yourself singing a familiar chorus, but more often than not, you’ll be trying to place that one melody. Bjorck claims his album as a tribute to the composers of the melodies for each hymn; the authors are often credited for their lyrics, but he brings a new emphasis on the musical side of the hymns. The perfect combination of classical piano, well-known hymns and contemporary piano arrangements, This I Know is a unique release.
Bjorck’s motto for his music is, “Quiet music to calm the heart in a noisy world,” and This I Know: Ageless Hymns of Faith is the perfect example. Put this in your CD player for a time of calm devotion, or use it as background music at your Sunday Service.”
~~Worship Leader Magazine, September 2008
“The dancing, Vince Guaraldi-like stride Jeff Bjorck gently grafts onto Come Thou Font of Every Blessing evokes the sonic equivalent of sunrise in an unspoiled, dew-laden meadow. The rest of this CD–the latest in his Pure Piano series–dedicates itself to faith hymns with a similar spirit of artistry and reverence. It Is Well With My Soul begins with the brushstrokes of single piano keys, then unfolds with flower-petal sensitivity. If you’re looking for a lullaby to soothe your child-like soul, Jesus Loves Me finds salve in the instrument’s upper register, its 88 seconds enveloping the listener in swaddling cloth.”
~~Lou Carlozo, Christian Century Magazine
“This I Know: Ageless Hymns of Faith is a wonderful recording for anyone who loves the classic hymns, but will also be a joy for anyone who loves deeply-felt piano solos. A rich and satisfying experience awaits the listener….Very highly recommended!
~~Kathy Parsons, Mainlypiano.com
“The fourth in his Pure Piano series, This I Know contains Jeff Bjorck’s favorite hymns, featuring his own solo piano arrangements for them….Bjorck is a devout Christian, of that there is absolutely no doubt. However, take it from me, an avowed agnostic and fallen-away Catholic; enjoyment of this CD is not restricted to those for whom these hymns hold spiritual significance. I’d guess that if one were Christian, then these wonderful interpretations might stir his/her soul in a special way. However, Bjorck is a talented pianist and his arrangements make even the most “hymn-like” hymns sound inviting to a secular music lover, such as myself.
~~Bill Binkelman, New Age Reporter
“Jeff Bjorck is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology. He is also an seriously incredible pianist. He calls his music “quiet music to calm the heart in a noisy world” and he is 100% right on the money there. Beautiful stuff here … simply beautiful.”
~~Kim Jones, correspondent for About.com Christian Music~~
This Timeless, Evocative Album Takes You Places
“I’ve listened to Jeff Bjorck’s latest instrumental piano album, This I Know: Ancient Hymns of Faith, several times over the last month or so. While this veteran artist’s lovely renditions of classics such as “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” haven’t yet failed to set a mellow, meditative mood, this collection of 15 tracks (nearly 75 minutes total) somehow turned even more poignant and alive during a recent Sunday afternoon car trip through central Connecticut.
Passing through the snow-covered New England landscape as the sun shined upon huddled neighborhoods, gray smoke exiting chimneys and tall church steeples casting long shadows across bare trees, Bjorck’s music was akin to a time machine. I found the emotion of his playing (and even more crucially, the very rustic, timeless quality of his tone and composition) filled my mind with images of the countless people who’ve worshiped to these hymns over the centuries. Passing by Thomaston I wondered what it might have sounded like inside the town’s Covenant Church during its first Sunday service in 1890 as the founding congregants heard the opening strains of “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling”—then only a decade old. Bjorck’s melodies come about as close as you can to answering such questions….This I Know: Ancient Hymns of Faith is indeed timeless—but don’t let that fact dissuade you from immediately letting it enrich your present reality.”
~~Dave Urbanski, Senior Developmental Editor of Youth Specialties~~
This I Know: (and you can too!)
“There is so much that I appreciate about [this] CD. Jeff Bjorck summed it up best with the line “47 years in the making” and it shows in the music and all the little extras. The explanation in the credits on the selection of artwork and photos was meaningful. His reflective “thank-you” as well as the “personal stories” about the music add to the beauty of this CD and give us a glimpse of the heart behind the hands. But it is the music that shines. The selection of hymns is prime. The arrangements have that classic “Bjorck” stamp — tender and thoughtful movements that invite a heartfelt response. I especially enjoy listening to this CD (and others Jeff has produced) because I find his compositions rejuvenating. In fact, I think that “encouraging” is also an apt description of all of Jeff Bjorck’s music!
~~Jim Covington, Los Angeles, CA
Great performance – great production…GREAT CD !!!
“I found out about this CD in one of the recording forums on the web. I’d never heard of Jeff but feel fortunate to have happened upon his music. After listening to several soundbytes of this disc that were posted on the gearslutz forum, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to add to my collection. The songs on the disc are billed as a collection of hymns, though many won’t be recognized as such due to Jeff’s creative interpretations. The production, engineering and recording of this CD will blow you away…it’s as if you’re sitting in the room with Jeff as he plays. The only thing that overshadows what producer Bill Pearson did in the studio with the knobs is what Jeff Bjorck did in the studio on the piano. This is just a great collection of soothing solo piano music played by a very talented musician and captured by a top notch producer. And it keeps my blood pressure down while sitting in traffic in Atlanta! Truly the best $15 bucks I’ve spent in awhile.”
~~R. Hendee, Norcross, GA
Beautiful Music for the Soul
“This is a wonderful collection of Bjorck’s renditions of classic hymns. I love listening to the beautiful music…it is food for the soul, and a lovely musical portrait for the senses. I particularly enjoyed reading Bjorck’s description of the personal meaning that each hymn has for him. I have given this CD and other CD’s of Bjorck’s piano music to friends, and they absolutely love it! Whenever I have Bjorck’s music on in the background, friends who call me on the phone, or are accompanying me in my car will inevitably ask, “What is that music? It is BEAUTIFUL…..” I do highly recommend that you get this CD, as well as some of Bjorck’s other CD’s….you will be glad you did.”
~~Lisa Wen, San Francisco Bay area, CA