Thursday, February 18, 2021

Luisa Goncalves, Unno

Portuguese pianist Luisa Goncalves steps forward with her album Unno (Trem Azul TA014CD), a solo outing. She has classical training, which certainly makes itself felt on the seven composition-improvisations that comprise the album. All compositions save one are by Ms. Goncalves.  A rolling and tumbling rendition of the standard "Laura" is the other that fills in and gracefully informs us of this part of her roots. So in this and other extended ways there are classical elements yet quite often a jazz feeling in the harmonies and rubato melo-harmonic thrust of this music.

Like Keith Jarrett (and perhaps a bit of Bill Evans) she spans the two genres but after several listens you do not confuse her with others, for she spins a lyrical but hard-edged personal approach that is most definitely her own. On the classical side there is like with Jarrett a channeling of the Grand Tradition of sensitive and somewhat tempestuous piano a la Chopin, Liszt and Debussy-Ravel, yet again her channeling is her own.

With the exception of the brief and arpeggiated closing piece "Circle," this is not a recital that brings to the forefront a demonic quickening of right hand lines, for she is here mainly after cluster-melo-harmonics of a more unified and more contemplative sort.

It is very easy to flow with this music. And it may well grow on you as it did me. For all piano lovers I would think. Recommended. Bravo.

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