Clay Giberson last crossed my radar playing with the Upper Room Trio on last year's well-received Cycling . His current release, Aiming True, Volume 1, is a solo piano excursion into moody, nocturnal climes. Is this jazz? Is this New Age? Does this belong on Hearts of Space ? Affirmative to all three. Labels are not important when the music performed is this finely crafted. Giberson is a careful composer, never wasting notes or harmonies. His playing shimmers with quiet originality and sophistication.
The compositions are tastefully short and devoid of the standard excesses that often plague this type of piano performance. "Meditation #1," "Meditation #2," and "Meditation #3" all possess a striking ambiance of dusk and meditation. Each meditation ripples over subtle changes in timbre and beat. Mr. Giberson coaxes many different colors from a given note, displaying an acutely soft piano touch. "Hello Song" possesses the beautifully improvised qualities of surprise and careful cunning. Prayer is a soulful musing with a relaxing, enriching quality.
Overall, Aiming True is a collection of nocturnes best enjoyed with a snifter of brandy late at night. I hope that the "Volume 1" is not a ploy, as this is very fine listening music.
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.