He began playing piano at the age of five. Later he studied composition and performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music while taking business classes at Case Western Reserve University. Brickman composes a variety of music. In he released the first album in the Soothe series.
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The romantic, pop-oriented compositions and high-profile collaborations that are his trademarks have boasted achievement in adult contemporary radio formats. The musician kicks things off with a pretty, instrumental adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" and maintains that same feel for "Some Day My Prince Will Come" and "Mary Poppins Medley," perhaps the best arrangement on his album.
Of course no matter how talented a performer is, watching someone sit behind a piano for over an hour would probably grow tiresome. To liven things up, clips from various Disney films and archival footage are projected onto flowing screens behind him or mixed in with the concert footage itself.
Brickman invites a parade of guest stars to come out and provide vocal accompaniment to his playing. Brickman himself sings occasionally too and does so with more talent than might be expected. Many of the tracks that are entirely instrumental on the album are vocalized on the DVD, which makes for a unique experience that is as stimulating as the album.
Other selections, such as "Heaven" and "Peace" are less enjoyable or fitting. Michael Bolton comes out for a total of four performances, but only two are Disney songs and sadly neither of those is his pop hit, "Go the Distance" from Hercules. At one point, Anne Cochran tells Jim that she loves Disney music but that the audience would like to hear some of his own stuff too. Instead of pointing out that they had already heard five of those, he charges on, but quickly returns to the reason for the occasion with a medley of "A Whole New World" and "Colors of the Wind.
Overall, the concert is nicely constructed and creates a magical ambience that is easy to appreciate. Viewing the concert makes for a cozy evening and fans of either Brickman or Disney should find themselves pleased with the product.
The Disney Songbook
Song Books (Piano Books)
Jim Brickman - The Disney Songbook
The Disney Songbook for Easy Piano (Sheet Music)