5

Florian Ross: Front Room Songs

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The use of overdubs isn't really the norm on jazz recordings, but it is an accepted practice. Very often it can simply involve a horn player adding a line here or there, providing some finishing touches to music that was mostly-done already, but every now and then it goes well beyond that point. Piano legend Bill Evans, for example, charted a new course when he delivered Conversations With Myself (Verve, 1963), which featured Evans atop Evans on record.

That particular recording, while turning plenty of heads, can hardly be said to have started a trend in jazz, but it did open the door for others to try their hand(s) at the art of singular duets; now, four decades later, pianist Florian Ross walks right through that door with Front Room Songs.

Ross, a German pianist who's worked and/or recorded in virtually every type of setting from solo piano to big band, delivers a program of organ and piano duets that's at once unique and wholly comfortable in a familiar way. Part of the success of this project has to do with Ross' clever blending of familiar tunes ("Alice In Wonderland" and "I Should Care") with highly accessible originals ("Daffodil"), and part of the success is due to the fact that he doesn't forsake the idea of a rhythm section just because all of the instrumental elements aren't present; Ross is a rhythm section unto himself, creating organ bass lines that provide propulsion and highlighting the rhythmic underpinnings that naturally exist within the music.

The first three tracks on the album each hint at this essential rhythmic quality in different fashion: "Alice In Wonderland," one of several waltzes on the album, bounds along in natural fashion; "Daffodil" alludes to a bossa beat without actually containing one; and a faster-than-usual "Blackbird" works off of a metronomic click that Ross toys with and plays around. Steady time persists throughout the majority of the album, as one Ross backs the other for a head, solo or sideways glance, but it isn't omnipresent; "I Love Music," for example, breaths a bit more as the flow comes and goes, "Meditation In D" is a jazz-meets-new age hymn that never feels boxed in, and "Der Monde Ist Aufgegangen," the album-ending piano feature, oozes emotion in gentle waves.

While some might look at Front Room Songs as a gimmick-y type of recording, it's not. The notion of self-performed duets actually fades away as the recording unfolds, leaving the ears to simply admire a marriage of organ and piano that just happens to have been made by a single being.

Track Listing: Alice In Wonderland; Daffodil; Blackbird; Jennifer; I Love Music; I SHould Care; Let's Play A Bit; Everybody's Song But My Own; Meditation In D; Porridge Experience; Der Mond Ist Aufgegangen.

Personnel: Florian Ross: piano, organ.

Title: Front Room Songs | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Fuhrwerk Musik


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 "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Live at the High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Araminta" CD/LP/Track Review Araminta
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek" CD/LP/Track Review Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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