4

Florian Ross: Front Room Songs

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Florian Ross: Front Room Songs 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Fuhrwerk Musik | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 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 Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Blue Monday" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Monday
by James Nadal
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!