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Gareth Williams - Short Stories (2022)

Исполнитель: Gareth Williams
Название альбома: Short Stories
Год выпуска: 2022
Формат файлов: FLAC/MP3@320K/s
Размер архива: 298,5 MB/159,5 MB
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1. Not Bossa (7:21)
2. Unwritten Hymn (5:14)
3. Derivatives (5:20)
4. Mr JT (6:13)
5. Who Can I Turn To? (Solo Piano) (3:36)
6. Buster Keaton (5:43)
7. Islands of Men (4:41)
8. Another Waltz (7:01)
9. One More Blues (4:11)
10. For Palle (7:04)
11. Short Story (6:49)
12. Too Young to Go Steady (Solo Piano & Vocal) (3:53)

A lot of thoughts leap to mind and emerge listening to these 12 tracks new from pianist Gareth Williams. Very well-known but more so perhaps 20 or 30 years ago in the UK modernistic mainstream world particularly in the early career of singer Claire Martin players of Gareth Williams' generation who emerged in the 1990s often get forgotten about given new media's interest (if at all) exclusively in new young acts or by complete contrast ancient mariners recently elevated or unfathomably not yet to the inevitable icon bracket. That's a shame but happens not just only to Williams. It ain't a conspiracy either. Williams sounds better than ever here and acts as a fine reminder of his considerable artistry. Sadly I have no tracks to share from the album itself so far.

The fiftysomething pianist-composer (born 1968) is with some even more senior players in the alternating presence of the hugely revered Keith Jarrett ''Belonging band'' bass legend from Sweden Palle Danielsson (75) and the great English bassist Chris Laurence (73) known for his work with Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor. Before doing anything else take a moment to listen to Danielsson on the track 'Country' on My Song or his work with the much missed Tomasz Stańko on the classic 1997 album Litania.

On 'Country' that throb of bass rises up like a new dawning after the cruel darkness of night. And you get something profound here too on Short Stories because Danielsson and Laurence's two approaches are utterly compatible and a joy at the centre of this record feeding off Williams so well. So if you are a fan of the double bass then this album is certainly a treat given their complementary work. Completing the sound is fine fiftysomething man of Kent English drummer Martin France known for his work in recent years with Spin Marvel and Krononaut. Younger players like the brilliant Jon Scott (the new drummer in GoGo Penguin) owe a lot to France.

Gareth Williams writes: This project came from a desire to encapsulate the many facets of music that I love. Improvisation is at the centre and jazz is the genre but I wanted to embody aspects that aren’t always to the fore in the jazz idiom. There are moments of explosive swing and bravado but also compositions that evoke melancholy and introspection. The chance to record with an idol of mine, Palle Daniellson, provided the impetus to compose music that could explore intuitive, reactive playing. At this, he is a master. Martin France is the ultimate in responsiveness and creativity.

This is not avant-garde music (indeed there are some jazz standards and even a vocal track!) but neither is it slavishly adherent to any one tradition or movement. I hope that it is joyful, as well as thought-provoking.

“a jewel of a player... spinning out luminous introductions and codas” by (Jazziz Magazine USA) and “…a fantastic improviser” (John Fordham, The Guardian).

An electrifying performer, he is the “embodiment of creative energy, a physical player… with a keyboard command that’s both impressive and well-directed” (Peter Vacher, Jazzwise).

The Williams originals have a grandeur to them that isn't at all pompous. They are just thought-provoking and often very poignant. On 'For Palle' the bass line draws out the bittersweetness in the melody and amplifies the hints that arise in other contexts. I suppose Williams must have been influenced by John Taylor along the way and sometimes say on his fine soloing again on 'For Palle' that comes through in its florid at times oblique fecundity. Perhaps there is a little of Cedar Walton in his sound as well. The title track, a singular 'Short Story' and certainly a singular trip of the imagination is provided towards the end. Williams sings on 'Too Young To Go Steady' and the Mark Murphy-like quality of his voice is a surprise if you don't already know his fine vocal facility. So many reasons then to get this record. You will simply hate yourself if you don't. (marlbank.net)

Gareth Williams, vocals, piano
Martin France, drums
Palle Danielsson, double bass
Chris Laurence, bass
Conor Chaplin, bass

Miles Music MMCD090

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