Self-taught Canadian pianist Andrew Gilpin presents a hodge-podge mixture of styles on Multiplicity. His Sonata for Flute and Piano explores a lively mix of baroque flute and pulsing piano accompaniment. Other tunes entertain a folky, melodic feel. But unfortunately most of the disc is trite to the point of sheer annoyance. For example, the sea shanty tune "The Cremation of Sam McGee" bears a painful similarity to the theme from Gilligan's Island. The lengthy choral suite Gloria takes what might be a positive ecstatic feel and destroys it with mind-numbingly repetitive lyrics and music. The first movement, for example, repeats the same four words over and over again for three and a half minutes.
The instrumental and vocal performances on Multiplicity are crisp, clear, and well-recorded. The flute work by Leslie Allt conveys warmth and joy. Gilpin's omnipresent piano playing tends toward a organic, harmonically simple folk idiom, with occasional bluesy or spiritual moments. The group vocal performance by the Wayne Gilpin Singers retains balance, and the individual vocals by soprano Wendy Humphreys have moments of sheer virtuosity. However, despite the individual contributions of these musicians, Multiplicity is fundamentally flawed at a compositional level. It never really breaks free of the simplistic, repetitive themes that overwhelm any creative interest.
Track Listing: Sonata for Flute and Piano (Movements I-III); Kaity; The Cremation of Sam McGee; Duo for Flute and Piano; Alleluia; Gloria (Movements I-VII).
Personnel: Andrew Gilpin, piano; The Wayne Gilpin Singers; Cantilena; Wendy Humphreys, soprano; Leslie Allt, flute.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.