Larry Goldings – In My Room – BFM Jazz 302 062 406-2, 56:55 ***:
This mostly piano solo album is somewhat of a concept record: “…to position the listener as close to the creative process of the artist as possible with immediacy and lack of artifice…to sit beside Larry in his room.” As solo piano recordings go this is one of the better ones. Musicians or fans of the piano may have more preference as to the sound of a particular piano over another—the playing itself is more than competent and the goal of “hooking” the listener with the presence of the recording is successful.
There are liner notes that explain the choices of material: the covers as well as the original pieces. Classics like the Beach Boys’ “In My Room” and The Beatles’ “Here, There And Everywhere” are translated to piano with the idea of not so much as a new interpretation, but an attempt to engage the listener in a new way. The classic popular songs of the last century, e.g. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” are selected for their “American-ness” by the artist. The four interludes are experimental music with different objects installed inside the instrument to elicit an unusual tuning. One of the originals, “Crawdaddy” is a tribute to the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The rest I’ll leave for the listener to discover. Those who are fans of mellow piano music a la George Winston (minus the New Age bent) will enjoy this record. Those looking for Dave Grusin-style bangs and splashes will be disappointed.
TrackList: In My Room; Beautiful Dreamer; Crawdaddy; Interlude No. 1; Take Me Out To The Ballgame; The Flower Song; All I Want; Roach; Maybe; All My Born Days; Interlude No. 2; Everything Happens To Me; A Rose For Emily; Libre; Interlude No. 3; the Wedding; Interlude No. 4; Here, There and Everywhere.
Rob Silverman: Drumology Vol 2; Pat Petrillo Big Rhythm Band: The Power Station Sessions – Autumn Hill Records
Two excellent percussion-inspired releases from an emerging jazz label.