302

Howard Riley: Consequences

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Revered by a few but unknown to most, Howard Riley has been an uncompromising free music agitator since the late '60s, first in small group settings, later with bigger outfits, like the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, and solo performance. His music ebbs and flows between material with no obvious antecedents and recalibrated shades of early bop. He's frequently bracketed alongside Cecil Taylor, but while he can indeed generate a lot of notes, he plays them pianistically rather than percussively. A better reference point is the dissonant lyricism of Thelonious Monk. Such resonances are, however, the relatively minor tributaries of a broad river of trenchant individualism.

Riley wanted Consequences, which was recorded in the studio, to retain the edgy no-deletions-possible spontaneity of live performance. Consequently (and hence the title), each of the twelve tracks is a first take, and every piece that was recorded during the session is included on the album.

Less abstract and more expansive than is Riley's frequent wont, the album is a page-turning, ten-fingered exploration of loosely pre-sketched, mostly upbeat material. Traces of Monk's close harmony note-clusters are heard from time to time, particularly on the title track and the overtly Monkish "Trinkling," and there are fainter echoes of boogie ("Enabling") and stride ("Thinking Of Then").

Even at his most spontaneous, Riley has a gift for in the moment structure and on the hoof editing. Form and brevity together shape each tune: average track length is about five minutes and each piece resmembles free association writing starting out from the sketchiest of plots. Stimulating and principled music.


Track Listing: Consequences; Feelgood; Old Times; Nobility; Enabling; Chance Encounter; Last Night; Spring Fling; Rituals; Thinking Of Then; Trinkling; Further Consequences.

Personnel: Howard Riley: piano.

Title: Consequences | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: 33 Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "J.I.G.E.N" CD/LP/Track Review J.I.G.E.N
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Troy Collins
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Harlem" CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.