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G. F. Mlely: 88 Keys and Counting (2002)

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In playing solo, the art of music is defined by expertise. Outstanding technique may indulge the player, but there has to be enough creativity to carry the listener. In order to succeed, the focus should not be divided and the pulse has to be constantly fed from the center. It is to pianist G.F. Mlely’s credit that he keeps the structure of these pieces pliable for his ministrations, and in doing so displays an inspired confidence.

Mlely creates tension and loosens the pulse. In his two-handed attack, his left creates vignettes that accompany the luminous creations of his right. Intense dynamics cavort to a swirling pulse, and rhythm and time can change in one smooth swerve. He lays bare the melody of “Love For Sale” with an easy, slow air and then chugs through a heady exposition of the theme. A light pastoral zephyr wafts across “Mistress Of The Tree”, the calm both soothing and heady. “Rio” has a solid Latin groove going for it, without ever truly immersing in the beat. Mlely also shows the influence of Art Tatum, particularly on “Spirit Inside” which, given the devolution, is aptly named.

Track Listing: Our Love Is Here To Stay; Spirit Inside; Love For Sale; Mistress Of The Tree; Mood Indigo; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Here We Are; Night And Day; Rio

Personnel: G. F. Mlely

Record Label: JazCraft

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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