Norwegian pianist Jon Balke’s first-ever solo disc is a remarkable ‘book’ of 19 short pieces, grouped into four chapters and an epilogue, of music composed and improvised, exploring a whole vocabulary of ideas, techniques, rhythms, textures and sound-colours. Resembling no other disc in the solo piano genre, this is another strikingly original release from the instigator of the Magnetic North Orchestra and Batagraf.
Here, spread over "four chapters" plus an "epilogue" are a series of 19 solo piano interludes, one as short as 56 seconds, that explore sound, space, resonance and intensity. Melodic fragments, some seemingly simple or naïve, are scrutinised, developed and abstracted into textures and colours. Each piece is complete in its own right, but build collectively into a fascinating statement that is as beckoning as it is beguiling.
Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise