Riley, Howard - For Four on Two Two (Mega Blowout Sale)

"A reissue of a recording first released in 1983, For Four on Two Two is Howard Riley's ninth solo piano album (he made roughly one a year from 1972 onwards) and, as Dave Ilic pointed out in his original liner-note (expanded by a Wire article in autumn 1983), it is a prime example of the power and vitality consequent upon Riley's 'orchestral-style use of the piano'. Riley himself, in the above-mentioned article, throws more light on his approach: 'playing in groups – you were expected to fulfil a certain role – as a pianist your function was to put in the chord changes. When it was time for the solo, it was left-hand chords, right-hand lines, or block chords. I'm not knocking that type of playing; it's just that I've found that the 'orchestral' approach brings out all sorts of possibilities.' These possibilities are thoroughly explored in this rich, dense, but frequently exhilarating album, five tracks of utterly distinctive improvisation ranging from pieces spun from rhythmic figures, what Ilic calls 'particular sound textures' or even bop-like snatches in which Riley's admiration for Thelonious Monk can be discerned. Kenneth Ansell's liner photo shows Riley fiercely concentrated on the keyboard, his hands a blur, and there is much on this album that showcases Riley's extraordinary technical facility, cascades of notes tumbling over each other in tumultuous abandon, but he is never seduced into producing mere pyrotechnics; each piece is clearly strictly edited, a controlled statement on a chosen musical theme. Recommended."-The Vortex
  • LabelVoiceprint
  • UPC604388710126
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