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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

CD Review: Paul Edis Not Like Me

Paul Edis (piano).
(Review by Russell)
Paul Edis deservedly won praise for his sextet’s debut album There Will Be Time and his first solo piano recording is set to win further plaudits. This review of twelve tracks (nine of them composed by Edis) was undertaken without the usual accompanying notes indicating titles and running times. So, in a blindfold test, what to make of it? The album title is intriguing… Not Like Me. Having heard Edis in concert on numerous occasions,  one observation is that this is just like him!

It is evident that a fine piano was at his disposal and Edis makes best use of it. The opening track signals a conversational style; simple right hand motif, left hand explorations and a wonderful sudden ending. Notes made during the second track read ‘ballad…flowing…contemporary composition’. But was this an original composition? Difficult to tell. A good sign. The first of the standards  - Round Midnight - features Edis’ thoughtful approach to classic jazz material. How to say something new about Monk.? Play the tune, let it happen. Edis does just that. 
Another Edis composition has the pianist under the lid to attend to the plumbing. A mid-tempo, down beat melody develops into complex textures, punctuated by a dark chord change, then another. Track five, hinting at My Favourite Things, highlights flowing two-handed piano as the composer gets inside the tune, thoroughly examining it with another great ending. 
A slower tempo number reveals the melody-rich Edis, the sort of tune a vocalist could pick up on. The seventh installment, with an element of nursery rhyme, hears solid two handed playing, sustained notes ringing out. The eighth reminds the listener of Edis’ classical background - an introspective intro of descending lines which wouldn't be out of place on the concert platform. 
My Favourite Things swings with a blues feel and a  touch of stride. Hear Edis play this live and you will struggle to suppress the cry Bravo!  The penultimate number has to be heard. Bring Me Sunshine is a tour de force; comic, pub sing-a-long, (the brilliant) Les Dawson and the equally brilliant Dudley Moore. Bravo!  The final composition sketches delicate improvisations across an uncluttered, quiet canvas. Not Like Me is, at present, available as a download. Essential listening. www.pauledis.co.uk
Russell.

2 comments :

Paul Edis said...

Thanks for the great review! Apologies for the lack of track listings - I thought I'd put a sleeve with the CD...in case you're still curious(?!) the tracks are as follows
1 Pulse
2 From Nothing to Nowhere
3 Round Midnight
4 Eastern
5 Not like me
6 For Bill
7 Vignette
8 Olivier
9 My Favourite Things
10 Beneath the Surface
11 Bring Me Sunshine
12 Sunrise
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I've occasionally heard Paul Edis play solo pieces at gigs where he is part of a group but sadly have never had the opportunity to get to one of his solo piano performances, so what a delight to discover he has made a solo album. I'm a CD (or vinyl) man myself but in this case an instant download was required. What a great album and what a variety of styles and influences! Russell did a very good job in his 'ears only' review picking up on the sources Edis has integrated into the tracks - Bill Evans, Monk, classical, improv, stride and I think I can hear Tatum come in the door a few times. However, while the shade of Les Dawson does hang over Bring Me Sunshine, surely the credit should go to Eric M and Andre Preview (and the notes are still not in the right order!).
JC

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