Greg Burk: As A River

Don Phipps By

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Having studied with George Russell and Paul Bley, and performed with Kenny Wheeler, David Murray and Steve Swallow, there is no doubting Greg Burk's bona fides. And with As a River, Burk has fashioned a series of deeply-felt original compositions—15 in all—that would make his mentors proud.

Burk's compositions are edgy and serene, bluesy and poetic, all of them demonstrating a wide range of emotions. His technique is both forceful and flowing, a difficult tandem to deploy; but he does so, covering the complete keyboard from high to low, with dynamic grace.

The album features choice songwriting. Take, for instance, the bittersweet melody of "Five Peaks," or the musical romp of "Sun Salutation," where Burk uses his left hand to set forth a complex but flowing rhythm while the right dances like a ballerina pirouetting across the stage. Perhaps the highlight of the album, "Serena Al Telefono" pulses with riveting Latin rhythms emphasized by a muscular left-hand attack. Towards the end of the song there are breaks in the music which encase fascinating musical streams of consciousness.

On As a River, Burk's music exhibits a sense of yearning and ascension, and his modal, bluesy melodies and rich harmonies make this outing essential listening.

Track Listing: One Day; Five Petals; Sun Salutation; As A River; Radiant Heart Blossom; The Slow Hello; The Union; Confluence Of Color; Serena Al Telefono; Into The Rapids; Love Wins; Beyond The Bend; The Slow Goodbye; Rivers To Tears; Sequoia Song.

Personnel: Greg Burk: Piano.

Title: As A River | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Tonos Records

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