Monday, April 30, 2012

Juhani Aaltonen and Heikki Sarmanto, Conversations

I sometimes find that I have underestimated or not paid enough attention to an artist. I've heard some of his (or her) albums, didn't dislike them, but somehow nothing "took" in my mind. I'll admit that has been the case with reedist Juhani Aaltonen.

The "aha" moment has come for me however with the two-CD album duets he has made with pianist and fellow Finn Heikki Sarmanto, Conversations (TUM 024-2). It's the two of them going over the music of Sarmato, a few collaborative, spontaneously improvised efforts composition-wise, and a couple of standards.

Juhani sticks to the tenor, Heikki to the piano and they weave some rather magical speals and spells. Sarmanto seems like the ideal partner in such a dialog. He is concerned with a spontaneously advanced tonal platform and has many moments of brilliance in a kind of post-Paul-Bley world. He too I have not paid sufficient attention to, and in this context he sounds great.

Juhani on tenor is a fully formed presence. There are intimations of Trane and Ben, Archie and the grand tradition of tenorism, but put in a context that is firmly modern and Aaltonian.

These are marvels of expressive freedom grounded in all that has come before, but re-found in a new playing situation, so to speak.

Very impressive! Very beautiful. Try and give this one a listen!

Friday, April 27, 2012

BassX3, Transatlantic: Gebhard Ullmann, Chris Dahlgreen, Clayton Thomas

Gebhard Ullmann has been making a name for himself over the last decade in various contexts, most notably as co-leader of a quartet with trombonist Steve Swell.

BassX3 is a most unusual proposition of reeds and two basses--Ullmann on bass clarinet and bass flute, and the contrabasses of Chris Dahlgreen and Clayton Thomas. Their second recorded effort, Transatlantic (Leo 625) finds them exploring freely the kinds of unusual timbral color combinations and group sounds attainable through imagination and inspired improvisation.

Only one piece has freely walking basses and "jazz-oriented" bass clarinet soloing. But there are moments of fire-energy typical of "free jazz" at its most outgoing. The rest make use of the contrast between reeds and the low and complex sounds two basses can produce via arco and sometimes relatively unconventional playing techniques. Throughout this contrast forms a basis for the music that comes about.

The end result is an improvised new music that fascinates and brings new sounds into your listening world with forethought and a dramatic sense.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mark Sherman, The L.A. Sessions, Exemplary Bop for Vibes and Organ Trio

When a vibesman of the stature of Mark Sherman teams up with a crack organ trio (Bill Cunliffe, Hammond; John Chiodini, guitar; Charles Ruggiero, drums) for a set of bop/hard bop standards ("Woody N' You," "Whisper Not," "Bag's Groove") and not-so-standards ("Quasimodo," "Celia," "Serpent's Tooth") you expect a certain thihg. And on Mark Sherman's L.A. Sessions (Miles High 8617), you pretty much get it.

That "it" is some nicely swinging ensemble grooving and good-bopping solo work. The drumming kicks it up, guitar and organ solos get inside the genre well, and... Mark Sherman does the entire set WITHOUT sounding like Milt Jackson. The bop lines are there with all lucidity, but he has a sound that's softer than Bags, a little more crisply articulated.

Like the moldy fig New Orleans disks made in the '40s and '50s, bopping is the new traditionalist cottage industry. And like that era's revivals, the current turn backwards doesn't always uncover new avenues or open up additional vistas.

Mark Sherman brings a slightly different articulation to it though. And everybody so thoroughly grounds themselves in the idiom that you can't help but appreciate what's going on. These guys FEEL the music. It's inside their bones. And so it comes off as authentic, genuine.

That's something.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nakatani Tiner Drake, Ritual Inscription. Limited LP Release . . .

Today, some music on vinyl--a limited edition release of Tatsuya Nakatani, Kris Tiner and Jeremy Drake's Ritual Inscription (Epigraph LP-001). It's a live recording from the Metro Galleries in Bakersfield, California.

Tatsuya sounds excellent on drums and percussion, getting a vividly wide set of timbres from the set up he assembles--bowed metallic objects, sharp clang, rumble and swat punctuations, and an inner sense of improvised freedom-as-form. Kris Tiner's trumpet and flugel give you a sound and style that stem from Don Cherry's bugle-call post-boplicity and Bill Dixon's thickness of sound color, handled in a very personal way. Guitarist Jeremy Drake makes his own form of electronic timbre-textures, not sounding like Derek Bailey (not easy to do these days) but energizing from the same fountainhead.

Together they work their magic in an impressive short set. You are ready for more when the second side ends. Let's hope we can hear them again. In the meantime this is exemplary outness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mockuno NuClear, "Drop It"

The current avant scene may not be in the focal sights of the mass media or the general public, but it thrives nonetheless. As Edgard Varese once said, and Frank Zappa espoused, "the present-day composer refuses to die." That can also be said for the improvising musicians out there in new jazz land.

A not as yet well-known group from Europe, Mockuno NuClear, serves as an example. Their CD Drop It (No Business 37) gives you evidence (if you needed any) that the work of innovation and synthesis, advance and retrenchment continues on in ways that show vitality. Now you may have to search it out. The era where there was for example Sam Goody stores in multiple neighborhoods routinely stocking the newest avant music may be a thing of the past (though tomorrow in the States it is Record Store Day), and important small boutique labels like No Business (centered in Lithuania) may not find themselves on display in a chain like Best Buy, but the music is still being made and much of it is very good and innovative to boot.

So today we take a look at Drop It. Mockuno NuClear is a trio of Liudas Mockunas on soprano, tenor and bass saxes; Dmitrij Golovanov on piano and keys; and Marijus Aleksa on drums; augmented by the bass of Vytis Nivinskas on two cuts and the second drumming of Darius Rudis on one.

This is a band that has the freedom of the "new thing" tradition with some of the power and electricity of post-Milesian psychedelia and the kind of zany avant compositional style and improvisational insouciance of ICP and the Ganelin Trio. Liudas has his own coloristic-noteful facility on all three saxes, Dmitrij has out improv key chops but can rock out too when needed, and Marijus feels equally comfortable in out-swing, out-rock, or out-out settings.

With all this as a backdrop, the band covers its territory with energy and creativity. You may not know what is coming next as you first listen, but that is a good thing, isn't it? And once you piece together the whole set in your head after a few listens, if you are like me, you'll find that this is an impressive effort. Perhaps the biggest surprise is "Elephant Tango," where, after various moods and transgressions against what is supposed to go with what have taken place, they burst into a burlesque Bechet-does-a-tango thing that will make you smile with appreciation.

That's how this album goes. It's rather irresistible once you surrender to its ways. Encore!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charles Gayle Trio, Streets

What is Charles Gayle doing dressed as a clown on the cover of his new trio recording Streets (Northern-Spy 018)? The answer is that it is a character persona Charles donned in the '90s to comment on his days of homelessness.

Charles Gayle has been recorded pretty extensively since his breakthrough days as a "pure" avant-free jazz saxophone voice. He has been rather well documented. So what would induce you to shell out your money for another release? The answer is that he has developed his voice and sound on tenor to a point where it is quite obvious he has undergone a period of growth. The album is of a piece; Charles on tenor, Larry Roland on acoustic bass, Michael TA Thompson on drums, playing an hour of free excursions. But it's not just any old hour. Charles is magnificently limber, impassioned and fired up. Roland and Thompson give him the cushion of excellent free-styling.

It's a complete statement of the place where Charles Gayle is at today. A master of expressive freedom. If you want to know Charles Gayle at his full power, this gives it to you in all its glory.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dennis Gonzalez Yells at Eels, Resurrection and Life, with Alvin Fielder

Legendary drummer AACM founder Alvin Fielder was on the verge of death in Chicago when he miraculously revived, fully recuperated, and joined Dennis Gonzalez in Texas in 2010 to work on the latest Yells at Eels project. The result, appropriately titled Resurrection and Life (Ayler 125), has that special something that perhaps reflects triumph against the odds, revival after near extinction.

This is another beautiful Yells at Eels effort. Fielder on drums and Dennis on trumpet, cornet and fluegel are joined by the latter's two sons Aaron on contrabass, Stefan on vibes and drums, and the trombone of Gaika James.

Fielder and all three of the Gonzalez clan contribute the compositions, and they are sparkling. Alvin has the freetime-swingtime mix in good form, Aaron sounds beautiful on the bass, Stefan's vibes are quite good and add much to the group sound, and Gaika plays an extroverted trombone that goes very well with Dennis's soulfully dexterous brass work.

Fielder triumphs, the band triumphs, and Yells at Eels puts together one of its best ever!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bill Barner, Ten Tunes

Here is something a bit different. Contemporary jazz/jazz-rock with the dominant instrument the clarinet of Bill Barner. Ten Tunes (self-released) is what the title suggests, ten quite serviceable, modern blowing tunes played by a quartet of Barner plus Stan Smith, guitar, Roger Hines, bass, and Danny Aguiar on the drums.

The rhythm section is very decent. Stan Smith sounds fine in a notey bop-rock way. But it's Bill Barner that forms the central fulcrum point. He has a sound somewhere between Buddy DeFranco and Bill Smith and plays in a style that synthesizes the later history of the instrument.

He's both modern sounding yet hearkens back to the post-Goodman players too. In a jazz-rock context that is very unusual and makes for a good listen as a result. This is by no means the perfect clarinet record. Bill Barner plays some nice lines though, so give it a whirl.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stone Quartet Live at Vision Festival (Leandre-Campbell-Crispell-Maneri)

The Vision Festival in New York City has quite likely come to be the most important "progressive" jazz festival in the US today. It lasts for several days and includes some of the most important improvising musicians active. For the 2010 edition the festival was graced by the presence of the Stone Quartet. Their performance there is to be had on the Ayler Records CD Live at the Vision Festival (Ayler 124).

It's a free improv set with a most interesting lineup: the bassist Joelle Leandre, an excellent improviser who has been creating exciting avant music across the pond for many years; Roy Campbell, trumpet master with an exceptionally fertile sense of invention and precise timbral control; Marilyn Crispell, a truly innovative force for outside pianism; and Matt Maneri, a violist who graces any ensemble with intelligent improvisations that have a kind of conceptual rigor.

It's 41 minutes of excellent ensemble interaction from a group that one only hopes will gather together to play again many times in the future. The lack of a drummer helps the string section shine forth with clarity and transparency, though I would like to hear this group hold forth with an equally creative drummer-percussionist as well. There is a cohesive collective statement that you hear come into being before your very ears, so to speak. They embody the excitement of the now, the elation of spontaneous collective composition.

Hear this one! And hear this music live whenever you can. Each of these artists deserve your support. They are at the top of their art. And support small labels like Ayler records. They are gateways to our present-day musical world!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Billy Hart Quartet, All Our Reasons

The Billy Hart Quartet has evolved since its origins in a hard bop mode around 2003. The newest album All Our Reasons (ECM B0016575-02) brings them into free-space territory.

It's an excellent platform for the talents of maestro Hart on the drums plus Mark Turner on tenor, Ethan Iverson, piano, and Ben Street, bass. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute compositions.

Iverson's "Ohnedaruth" works freely with the changes of Coltrane's "Giant Steps" in ways somewhat similar to what trumpeter Peter Evans has done with "All the Things You Are." That is, to follow the sequence of changes but in a very free way, thoroughly loosening up the rhythmic pulse at times and injecting a healthy creative freedom into the mix.

Billy Hart has always been a drummer who is both driving and very musical. I remember the feeling when I saw him with Mwandishi in 1972 that here was a player who didn't fall into the typical patterns to get through, but rather was filled with inventive ideas that worked well with whatever music was at hand. He has only gotten more profound in this way as he has matured over the years. You can just listen to him on this album and get plenty to enjoy and think about. But of course with Mark Turner's tenor and his controlled passion, Ethan Iverson's well-thought-out pianism, Ben Street's solid, musically astute anchorage and the engaging original compositions to be had here, there is a total experience.

It is music that freely engages virtually everything in the players' individual jazz arsenals, but also makes for a group effort in the best sense. It may take a few plays to get into the spirit of the music, but you WILL know when you get there. And I suspect you will get there as I did. This is a jazz for today. Recommended.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Masabumi Kikuchi Trio with Paul Motian, Sunrise

The jazz piano trio is alive and very well. Over the past several years I have had the pleasure to hear and review numerous recordings by equally numerous and talented ensembles with the trio lineup. Such a one is up for review this morning, the Masabumi Kikuchi Trio's Sunrise (ECM B0016502-02). Kikuchi, born in 1939, has a long track record behind him, including associations with Gil Evans, Elvin Jones and Miles Davis. He has led various groups of his own for many years, most notably Tethered Moon with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian.

For this new recording he rejoins with Paul Motian (in what, alas, must have been one of Paul's last recordings and in fact his second-to-last for ECM) and brings in bassist Thomas Morgan for a set of free, introspective, relaxed improviations. The manner of the trio and Maestro Kikuchi in particular brings to mind middle-period Paul Bley trios, which of course Paul Motian was for a time an integral member.

These are free-floating, mostly free-timed extemporaneous improvisations with little to no set themes or formally composed elements. What results has a remarkably consistent level of "deep" understatement. It's almost a "cool school" sort of "new thing" trio, without a lot of energy playing, with much of the harmonic advancement of avant new music in place, and with the phrasing squarely in the jazz camp.

If you like Paul Bley's trios when they get purely improvisational, you will find a similar yet personally distinct version here. Kikuchi develops remarkably fluid line-crafting, Thomas Morgan has much of a pointillistic role that he plays quite effectively, and Paul Motian drums with the subtle freedom of which he was so excellent and original a practitioner in this kind of setting. Farewell Paul Motian. You will be missed. But hello Masabumi Kikuchi. May you continue these explorations!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Only Three Days Left to Contribute to Roswell Rudd's Kickstarter Campaign for Album of Standards

Legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd is recording an album of standards and he needs your help. He must raise $3,000 in the next three days in order for this worthy project to become a reality. Please copy the following url into your browser to find out more, and contribute what you can!

Alvin Curran, "Electric Rags II" with the Rova Saxophone Quartet, 1990

Alvin Curran composes music that confounds and conflates genre-al expectations. Most of what he does has improvisational aspects, but also vivid aural sound painting and new music qualities. He is unique. I found his Electric Rags II (New Albion 027) a few years ago used and am now finally getting to a more intense series of listens. It features the Rova Saxophone Quartet along with Alvin Curran's templates for live electronic and electro-acoustic elements.

It is not music for pigeonholing. There are pre-arranged melodic events adroitly handled by the quartet, there is improvisational avantness, and there are sound colors and electronic transformations of various sorts as well. As is often the case with Curran, the sequence of music has a strongly narrative quality without there necessarily being a textual equivalent.

The electronics were derived from a special program that allows Curran to transform the sax quartet sound at any time. The notation for the quartet is sometimes standard, sometimes aleatoric (involving choice and chance on the part of the performers). Each of them is able to pilot one or more MIDI controllers that react to the sax utterences in variable ways. Plus the sections are to be performed in a random order. In the end there will be a different version every time the work is performed.

It's one of those Curran works that you must hear at least several times to absorb. And it is another good example of how Curran and the Rova Quartet make music of enduring vitality and impact. You can no doubt find this on the internet if you look for it. It may be out of print but it's worth finding! Like a Zen rock garden, the music has a plasticity that may bring you to another place in how you view your world. That depends on how you listen I suppose.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Devin Gray, Dirigo Rataplan

In just a day it will be April 10th, time for the debut album by Devin Gray to be released. It is going under the title Dirigo Rataplan (Skirl), which roughly means as I understand it "lead beating of the drums," or more understandably "leading from the drum chair." Since that is what Devin does here, it is apposite, it works. Mr. Gray plays some hip, driving, leveraged drums on this album. He leads a very hip quartet and has provided them with some nice compositions to boot.

Gray is 28 (I can remember that!) and so relatively young, but he chose some more weathered, less cherubic colleagues for this foursome. They were excellent choices both on paper and in their sound utterences. It's the intelligent bass-wielding of Michael Formanek, Dave Ballou on trumpet, a wizard of sound and line, and the beautifully personal tenor heft of Ellery Eskelin.

They have a kind of free-strutting quality to what they do here. There's a linearity that is made more driving, complex and free by the all-over quality of Devin Gray's time keeping. It gives the players impetus to loosen up and give their best.

And that makes for a wonderful disk. As a Bullwinkle J. Moose Cheerio ad from my youth had it, "go, go, go. . . but watch where you are going!" And so this quartet goes freely but not so much willy nilly. They know where to go and they go there.

Get set for some ravishing improvisational adventures. You'll get plenty of them on Gray's impressive debut. (And I will NOT comment on the graphic design of the cover, since, as the song has it, "a duck may be somebody's mother.")

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gary Smulyan, Smul's Paradise

According to Neil Tesser's fine liner notes, baritonist Gary Smulyan's Smul's Paradise (Capri 74113-2) is a kind of tribute to the original sound and style of the not well-remembered organist Don Patterson, especially as heard in those marvelous Prestige albums from the '60s. I only read things like liner notes, press sheets, etc., after I have formed my own judgement on an album. And there was something lurking at the back of my mind about this one that percolated underneath and did not come to the surface until I read the notes. "Aha," I said to myself, "that's what was poking at me as I listened to this." Don Patterson is a favorite of mine and it was that vibe I was picking up on without naming it in my mind.

The hard bop, hard swinging funk of Lonnie Smith, Don Patterson and early Larry Young is the fulcrum point for this one. Mike LeDonne on the Hammond, Peter Bernstein, guitar, and Kenny Washington's swinging drums give Gary the context for Gary to hold forth on his baritone. The music includes a couple of Patterson-penned burners, the perennial "Sunny," and a couple of game Smulyan originals.

It's a great band to do this and they pull it off with their own stylistic integrity intact. Meaning they are not just copping a style. They are co-opting it and making it what they will of it. Everybody sounds great and the music SWINGS, brothers and sisters. It's hands down one of the best and most convincing organ jazz revival disks I've heard in years. And Smulyan gets a showcase where he can nail it. Nail it he does.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Ames Room, "Bird Dies"

Bird Dies (Clean Feed 231) is a rather cheeky name for a 45-minute continuous improvisation by the alto sax-bass-drums trio The Ames Room. But it does give notice that the music contained on this CD is most definitely beyond bop. Jean Luc Guionnet, Clayton Thomas and Will Guthrie on alto, bass and drums, respectively, from the beginning lock into a tumbling, jabbing, continuously heated improvisation that has something of the phrasing of Trane's "Sunship" to it. The trio manages to do that with their own personalities to the forefront however.

Guionnet's alto is unrelenting in its continual short burst of phrases. working through and developing his solo through repetition, variation and change. The rhythm team follow each their own rolling and thrusting variations. Combine the three over time and you have the interplay that puts this performance in its own special place. The overall dynamic is freedom within a straight-eighth note feel, rather than a triplet-oriented swing implication.

It's very intense. It might drive grandma out of the room. If you are up for that you'll get plenty of it on Bird Dies!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Talking Cows, "Almost Human"

Talking Cows are into something very good. They start out from Mingus and Dolphy's sort of angular line-driven out-bop combined with some of the irreverance of ICP and build something their own on the influences. At least that's what I hear. Their album Almost Human (Morvin 9) gives you ten reasons why that's a good thing. Ten provocatively fetching originals by the Dutch quartet are contained within the blips and bloops of the CD format.

And the players are onto what they do in nice ways. Who are they? Frans Vermeerssen and Robert Vermeulen, on tenor and piano, function as George Adams and Don Pullen, though they don't especially sound like them. They go in and out of the changes/harmonic implications of the tune in creative and lucid ways. I am especially impressed with Frans's tenor work. Then there's Dion Nijland and Yonga Sun on bass and drums. They create the appropriately loose pulse, the nicely walking and tumbling pulsations.

It's the combination of crisply characteristic compositions and real-deal soloing that makes this disk a real winner. I like it more every time I hear it. It's a keeper!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Harry Allen, Rhythm on the River

On the current jazz scene all past styles co-exist with the radically new. It's a pluralistic world where artists may feel free to explore the styles that they find the most stimulating and suitable for their musical personalities, wherever that may lead.

So we have Harry Allen and his new disk Rhythm on the River (Challenge 73311). It's a sort of pre-swing/swing oriented date with some players well suited to the mode employed. Harry plays a tenor that reflects the note-choice wisdom of some of the early masters, like Hawkins, Webster and that general stylistic complex. With the heat there's a bit of "cool" in there that doesn't quite suggest Lester as much as later Ben. He's picked some winning partners in Rossano Sportiello on piano, Warren Vache on cornet (for around half the album) and a rhythm team of Joel Forbes and Chuck Riggs, bass and drums.

All the songs have the river as theme. They are generally some old classics and they serve the players well. And there is some fine soloing from the horns and Rossano W.

All in all a nice revivalist session that gets it right.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Connie Crothers, David Arner: Spontaneous Suites for Two Pianos

That modern improvised music for two pianos is a rarity partially has to do with logistics. It's not all that easy to find two good instruments and it takes some doing to combine that with two players who are both on-hand and game at the same time as the pianos. That's perhaps too facile an answer but in the economics of improvised music practical considerations are not unimportant.

Be that as it may the teaming of Connie Crothers and David Arner was an inspired idea that has led to some beautifully musical results. And to have their interactions available on four full CDs in the box set Spontaneous Suites for Two Pianos (Rogue Art 0037) is not only revelatory of just how inventive the two are, it is a musical project that brings a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction to the persistently attentive listener.

One of my first important jazz experiences was when I found a copy of an album that contained "Tonk," the two-piano duet between Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The fullness of melodic and harmonic possibilities realized on that three-minute 78 still has resonance in my mind as a high point of that era. And in many ways what Ms. Crothers and Mr. Arner do on the sides at hand are a sort of blossoming of possibilities latent in "Tonk."

To be sure, I do not mean to suggest that the music hearkens back to an earlier period. It does not. However both Connie and David are players that have thoroughly immersed themselves in the history of the music, pianistic and otherwise, and do invoke the essence of jazz pianism as they launch into stratospheric flights of invention.

This is thoroughly spontaneous music, free if you will, and avant. There are at times dense clusters of pitches less centered in a tonal-pivot point than they are all-embracing of the full 12-tones available; other times there are passages that suggest tonalities as a visual artist may sketch out a representation, only to thicken the image with elements outside the central core to eventually transform the original representation into something else altogether.

So too the two pianists open the music to total, spontaneous possibility, sometimes by initially referencing a tonal cell as an artist would sketch a figure. Sometimes there are endlessly modulating lines that race ahead in perpetual re-creation. At all times Ms. Crothers and Mr. Arner interact beautifully, each complementing the other so fully it becomes difficult much of the time to separate out each part, to sort out who is playing what. And surely that was their objective from the outset--the two create freely derived two-piano music, more than a music for two separate musical personalities.

This is not a cutting contest, surely. It is an immersion in the creation of a body of spontaneously dense four-hand musical discourse. The results at times have perhaps as much relation to the two-piano music of Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky in the original recording of Stockhausen's Mantra as they do to "Tonk." In other words this is an improvised kind of new music as much as it is a personal, real-time compendium of avant jazz. In other words it creates a place where the music is free to develop unconstrained by the limitations of any particular style camp.

And in the process we gain four volumes of very advanced pianistic creation. I will not attempt to analyse or describe fully the music here because it is in its unfolding and its perpetual capacity to surprise with unabashed candor that the music is meant to be heard. At least that is my take on it. And in the process all that Connie Crothers and David Arner are and have been musically comes into play.

There is never a sense of indirection or lack of purpose just as there are no second takes. Each suite unfolds in its own way with a sense of surety and direction rather remarkable for something completely spontaneous. This of course has to do with the synchronous rapport and musically sympatico outlook shared by the two artists. They have, can and will do other sorts of things with their music. But for this long moment in 2011 they have succeeded in creating a two-way simultaneous dialog that impressively forges a language uniquely suited to the moment. In the process they scale some high precipices with the surety of two that routinely take their music to very advanced places. Surely by combining their reaching upwards into a two-piano twosome they get to places quite rarified and bracingly ahead of the pack.

The music sustains an inspired attainment for something like four hours. And it does so in ways that provide the attentive listener with endless musical terrain to explore and re-explore with great pleasure and satisfaction. It is one of the finest improvisational solo-pianistic moments we have experienced in recorded form to date, to my mind. Do not let this one slip by. It will repay your attention with an enthralling sublimity.