Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Andrei Razin, ARSolo

Russian pianist Andre Razin is not known very much in the States. Based on his ARSolo (SoLyd 0412) album of solo piano he should be more widely heard. It is an album that came out in 2011 but shows the artist in a timeless light. There are seven works presented in the program, all showing a poetic ingenuity, an original harmonic-melodic approach that is somewhere between new music classical and contemporary solo piano jazz.

A Russian Keith Jarrett? Maybe, except he sounds unlike Jarrett and much more like himself. There is a kind of alternation between rhythmically active sections and contemplative atmospherics. His playing shows an excellent sense of form-in-spontaneity, with structured elements ordering what sound like impromptu improvisations. And indeed, this is the more improvisatory side of Razin, who also composes in the new classical mode.

His classic roots may come through clearly, but that is not to say that the improvisations sound pre-planned as much as informed by some key motives. As the liners say the program comes off as a continuous suite, touching on Razin's diverse, inventive approach in sections with a feel in-the-moment but somehow inevitable in their logic and spirit combined.

In the process you'll hear some jazz roots, resituated in a context that has as much of the post-Bartokian as an improvisational middle ground that rests in neither camp.

It is a bracing, invigorating performance that should be heard by anyone interested in the contemporary pianist and where the music can go these days. Andrei Razin should not be missed! An excellent album is this. Try and find a copy if you can.

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