Short Takes Part 3, Plus Three from MCG!
Loussier has made a cottage industry out of injecting jazz into the classical repertoire. He has already recorded jazz trio interpretations of Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Debussy, Ravel, and Satie. All of these previous releases have been enjoyable on two levels: one, Loussier's pianism is substantial; he could play a nursery rhyme and make it sound like Bach. And, two, one does not have to be versed in the original Nocturnes to enjoy this disc (though It helps with the appreciation of what Loussier is trying to do). The same is true for Loussier's Chopin. Here, Loussier chooses to go it alone and play solo. Chopin's piano music almost seems tailor-made for this type of interpretation and the pianist takes the pieces into surprising directions, interpolating ragtime, stride, and swing elements into the romantic harmonies. Don't let Chopin scare you. This is a very enjoyable disc.