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Upon the heels of his well-received and inventive forays into hybrid classical/jazz territory, pianist/composer Uri Caine surges onward with three markedly divergent releases for the Winter & Winter label.
His first solo piano recording, Solitaire, and the Brazilian-based Rio represent contrasting projects, whereas Bedrock boasts an electronic, groove oriented program. On the latter, Caine performs the bulk of his work on the Fender Rhodes electric piano, while utilizing the services of an ace rhythm section. Bedrock is a turbocharged session, largely due to the thoroughly hip and tightly integrated team consisting of bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Zach Danziger. Caine also enlists turntable ace DJ Logic for an overall schema that might seem out of the ordinary when compared to his ambitious slants on Bach, Mahler, Wagner, and other classicists. However, the pianist infused various elements and genres into his 2000 effort, The Goldberg Variations.
With this outing, Caine grinds out swirling chord progressions and jazzy fills atop the rhythm section's slick and scrupulously crafted undercurrents. He also utilizes vocalists, who spew forth mechanistic sounding lyricism - hearkening notions of some spaced-out, techno, trip hop environment. And while some of this may appear to be downright silly, notions of charm, wit and panache permeate much of the set. Perhaps not one of Caine's crowning achievements, this date signifies a nouveau approach that seemingly complies with New York City's often-cathartic musical climate. Moderately recommended.