Dana Paul Robinson combines forces with Jeff Reim and David Zipse to deliver a heart-wrenching piece of contemporary jazz, lyrically lamenting what could have been “If Only I’d Known You Then”. Carried entirely by piano and voice, “If Only I’d Known You Then” bears and immense sense of intimate sadness – with lyrics that speak to the experiences of one who wishes things had gone differently, who would trade what they have now for what they feel they could have had in its stead.
The lyrics here from Dana Paul Robinson positively nail an all-too-common perspective within the human experience. Taking the feeling from a quiet impulse to a full-throated declaration of regret lands quite powerfully. Jeff Reim performs the piece wonderfully, increasing the immersive intimacy of the tune through his own careful deliveries. The piano arrangement here does a great deal of work in terms of mirroring the lyrics’ melancholic motion, with the eventual explosion of remorse in the vocal melody finding a sustain wave in the piano harmony below. Beautiful work…..With a format and execution that it squarely into the greater Jazz canon, the focal point of “IF Only I’d Known You Then” stands to resonate deeply among those with repressed desires for the long-lost crushes as well as the presently romantically dissatisfied. It may not be for everyone, but those who can relate will find themselves thoroughly seen and understood – perhaps even painfully so. (Jon Wright, Radio AIrplay)