Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pianist Greg Burk and His Latest CD

Greg Burk has a new CD out today, his fourth for 482 Music. Many Worlds spotlights the involved pianism of Burk with a new quartet: Henry Cook on reeds, Ron Seguin on bass and drummer Michel Lambert. Burk and Cook were a part of Boston's Either Orchestra, which made some excellent music. Burk, Cook and Seguin have done some playing in and around Burk's current home base, Rome. The rhythm team has done some playing together in Canada. All of that is only to establish that this quartet has formed musical bonds previous to this particular configuration, and that the music on this disk shows a group that has already established a keenly attuned rapport.

This is freely flowing improvisation of a high level. The band can soar with a sort of rubato timelessness that later Trane, Tyner, Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders have made use of--though Burk and company do it in their own way; or they can freely pulsate and swing with charm and poise.

Burk himself plays a form of piano that has a thoroughly contemporary feel, yet also shows he can forge a style out of disparate elements. It can be lyrical or biting, but always musically astute. Henry Cook does very nice work here as well. The rhythm section plays inventively and flowingly. The 11 tracks on this disk show a sophisticated conceptual-compositional simplicity-in-complexity. It's what really sets this band off, I think. Highly recommended.

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