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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

CD Review: Good Days at Schloss Elmau - Gwilym Simcock

Gwilym Simcock (solo piano).
When an album is nominated for the prestigious 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize - the only jazz album in contention - then it has to be something special and Good Days at Schloss Elmau is just that and more.
A collection of original works by Simcock that successfully walks the high wire between classical European music and contemporary jazz without compromise to either.
There are many influences and inspirations from both worlds. Bill Evans and Chopin, Keith Jarrett and Debussy, Bach and Peterson but most of all Simcock himself who has developed a technique as formidable as any pianist around today and a few who aren't enabling him to transmit his thoughts instantly to the keyboard to produce the magical moments on this CD.
Moments that are tender, sad or reflective. Others where his exuberance leaps at you full of vitality and excitement.
If I had to face the impossible task of choosing just one track from the CD I think it might be Northern Smiles where he plays homage to Jarrett's Southern Smiles.
There's a Scottish folkiness about the Welshman's composition that appeals to this Englishman!
Check it out.
Good Days at Schloss Elmau - Gwilym Simcock. ACT 9501-2 - LC 07644.
Lance.

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