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Gregg Kallor: A Single Noon (2013)

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Gregg Kallor: A Single Noon How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Solo piano recordings are risky. Even the acknowledged masters of the form—Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
, Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
—fall flat from time-to-time. Somehow, outside of an interactive ensemble, magic seems harder to conjure. Pianist Gregg Kallor
Gregg Kallor
Gregg Kallor

piano
tries his hand at going it alone on A Single Noon, a nine movement suite, a musical ode to life in New York City.

This is composed music, with improvisation, and sounds like a very refined recital. Kallor's take on the big city seems to focus on the elegant and the polished side of city life, beginning with the gorgeous cover art, featuring a dazzling sunset (or it could be a sunrise) reflected on the polished wood of multiple pianos, with the sky scape of the big city in gray/violet hues as a backdrop, the artist himself hunched in shadowy light over a keyboard.

And the music: there is magic here. Much magic. It sounds like a love letter—an intricate, pensive, mostly tranquil and cerebral rumination on the city of New York, beginning with the wistful title tune, a patient unfolding of a simple, spare beauty of well-chosen notes. "Broken Sentences" brims with an agitation under the tight focus of Kallor's classical background, and "Night" falls gently, a caressing darkness creeping into the sound.

Kallor's compositions and his touch are absolutely exquisite. The word "refinement" keeps coming to mind, and it is a refinement touched with imagination, verve and vision. Gregg Kallor, with this New York suite, A Single Noon, has crafted a compelling and beautiful work of art.

Track Listing: A Single Noon; Broken Sentences; Night; Straphanger's Lurch; Found; Expresso Nirvana; Giants; Things to Come; Here Now.

Personnel: Gregg Kallor: piano

Record Label: Single Noon Records

Style: Classical


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