Monday, March 12, 2012

David Arner, Live from the Center, 2003

The more I listen to pianist David Arner's recorded output the more I am convinced he is one of the more important avant improvising pianists active today. His 2003 Live from the Center (Dogstar 0506) reaffirms that. It's a solo concert with Arner and a good sounding grand piano holding forth at some length.

What strikes me about this release is how Arner emphasizes the improvisation-new music aspect of his work. Inside-the-piano thrums, dampened strings, clusters of notes and fluid note-weaving are at the forefront, with less referential allusions to historical jazz styles than can be the case in other recordings he has made.

Another thing that struck me on repeated listens to this disk is how rhythmically different he is and how different his approach to melodic cells is as compared with the approach of Cecil Taylor. Cecil is of course a prime ancestor to almost all piano improvisations of this sort. To manage NOT to sound like him is not easy. To sound like David Arner in ways that are musically stimulating is that much more remarkable in light of the Master Taylor's all-encompassing influence. Of course there are other influences to be heard here, but again in terms of David managing NOT to sound like them either in any direct sense.

Aside from that this is a musical piano hour-plus of great interest. It should provide endless hours of listening for those like myself who imbibe such music as prime aesthetic nourishment.

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