Some might ask, what California based pianist-guitarist-composer Ernesto Diaz-Infante will do next? Whether utilizing the prepared acoustic guitar witnessed on the outlandish Left & Right featuring electric guitarist Chris Forsyth or open-ended/minimalist style solo acoustic piano performances on Ucross Journal, Infante at times parallels 20th Century composers such as John Cage and Morton Feldman.
On Solus, Infante turns in 13 pieces performed solely on acoustic piano that represent quite a contrast to the simply stated and somewhat hypnotic themes he produced on Ucross Journal. Infante – moderately - terrorizes his instrument in some sort of Cecil Taylor- lite fashion as the series of pieces presented here are entirely improvised. Not quite as explosive or all encompassing as Taylor or pianists of that ilk, Infante lays down jagged themes amid circuitous paths and brief flurries while merely implying meter and any notions of austere thematic construction. Essentially, Infante fabricates various motifs than willfully tears them apart as ideas abound throughout this thoroughly interesting affair. The artist’s portrayal of flow and symmetry is more of an illusion or in the magician’s world, sleight of hand as this recording emits a sense of compactness and well-being without appearing self indulgent or taking on the auspices of a marathon “chops” session.
Overall, Ernesto Diaz-Infante displays insurmountable wit and a willingness to explore in true artistic fashion. While not a magnum opus or masterpiece for the ages, Solus represents just one side of this multidimensional musician who continues to discover new ways and means of expressing himself while capturing our minds and ears along the way. Needless to state, we eagerly anticipate his next move! - * * * ½
Ernesto Diaz-Infante; Solo Piano
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See recent/archived reviews of the artist’s recordings on All About Jazz.