21st-century pianism is a minefield. Solo piano music especially is susceptible to so many pitfalls and misinterpretations that I've been really hesitant to get seriously involved with it. I've written on all this before, specifically with regard to postminimal piano music, but now I'm thinking about jazz, thanks in large part to Vijay Iyer's excellent new solo record, which is called, umm, Solo.
Iyer's playing has its own fascinating dialectic of consonance and dissonance, the accessible and the spiky, which I'll maybe write more about later. Interestingly though, today I rediscovered some (not at all comparable to Vijay Iyer) solo piano recordings I made in May '09 and thought I would post them. They aren't without their flubs and discontinuities, but they show where I was at the time, after a period of pianistic growth and enthusiasm, and how I approached solo piano versions of two pop songs I still really love.
Hopefully they'll also provide a nice front bookend -- I head to the Banff Centre in three weeks for my long-term residency, which I hope will provide another period of great growth. What kind of growth I'm not sure, and I'm trying to stay fluid on goals and aspirations. But I suspect the piano will have a lot to do with it.
Here are the recordings.
"Gospel" (The National)
"I Won't Be Found" (The Tallest Man on Earth)
• Gone Walkabout
• Music as Drama
• Crossroads II
• 10 Best of 2014
• January: Wyoming and the Open
• February: New Mexico and the Holes
• Coming Up
• Notes on The Accounts
• Crossroad Blues