A LANDMARK recording. This solo piano album of Gwilym Simcock’s acts as his own dedication to players he loves and reveres (Billy Childs, Brad Mehldau, Egberto Gismonti, Russell Ferrante, etc) but also and just as significantly represents a one stop visit to the remarkable style and sound of this astonishing pianist’s artistry. Simcock has a big technique but that never gets in the way of his torrential flood of melodic ideas which often land never far from a rhapsody and at all times are delivered with tenderness and skill. Jazz does not get any better than this in 2019.
What a lot the veteran Japanese pianist Aki Takase has packed in here: turntable culture somehow; rolling, boisterous sax-led themes; the anarchy of free form jazz; and the wild abandon of the player leader herself who if you can imagine Yoko Ono as a jazzer you would be only half-way there.
The group, her Japanic, bristles with some fine players chiefly Daniel Erdmann on sax in one of his best sideman appearances I’ve heard and her tunes have an epic, spirited, grandeur to them able interpreted by the ingenious ensemble. Tremendous.