Laraaji: Sun Piano (All Saints/digital outlets)

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Laraaji: Sun Piano (All Saints/digital outlets)
Many years ago now we wrote about Laraaji (Edward Larry Gordon) then in 2012 shifted the article into our WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT pages in the hope of garnering it more attention.

His earliest work was along the ambient axis on Eno's Obscure label and that was fitting given his has always been a spiritual quest and internally focused.

At other times he was a real space explorer with cosmic visions.

However here 77-year old Laraaji (who also plays zither, synths, sings and so on) sits at the piano for a series of solo improvisations where he touches on gospel changes, pop melodies which morph into something else, plays an increasingly powerful version of Shenandoah which many others (like the late Charlie Haden) wind down into melancholy, and at times becomes almost romantically reflective.

Sun Piano is apparently the first in a trilogy of recordings, was recorded in 2018 (he's never been in a rush or aimed for an audience) and strikes a more bold mood, although one overseas writer's comparisons with Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea seems somewhat amiss.

For those familiar with his work (courtesy of Elsewhere perhaps?) this is a more strident and different Laraaji.

Less meditative and minimalist, and more assertive and alert.

.

You can hear this album on Spotify here but it is also available on vinyl which your favoured record shop can order through Border Music, Auckland.


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