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The Ghost in the Oak

Artist: John Law
John Law - The Ghost in the Oak CD
Label: 33 Records
Regular Price: $15.95
On Sale For: $7.98 
Year: 2010
Format: CD


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This British piano virtuoso runs a sublime, somewhat Brad Mehldau-inspired trio - but he is a fearsome unaccompanied player, too. These two albums of contrapuntal improvisations may bring Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert to mind. However, devotees of classical piano may be drawn by Law's elegiac and flawlessly stroked slow explorations of chord voicings. He doesn't hide the years of detailed preparation that have gone into his music, so you don't get Mehldau's deceptively lazy, slow-burn restraint, or a loose deployment of the left-hand ostinatos that Law tends to keep remorselessly tight. But the Englishman can still be light and playful - as on the rocking Zero-G, which suggests early, hard-swinging Abdullah Ibrahim. The Last Dance gently explores twangy prepared-piano; Fair Weather Friend features a boogie feel, Monkish chordal jolts and swing-style trills; and the three-part Little Suite is a lovely display of Law's classically immaculate sense of form and contrast. There is little to choose between the albums, though volume two might just clinch it for variety.
John Law (piano)
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