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Jazz Articles

LIVE REVIEWS

Howard Riley and Keith Tippett at Pizza Express

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Howard Riley and Keith Tippett Pizza Express London March 9, 2015 It's been a while since two of the world's great improvising pianists played together--twenty-two years to be precise. This fact alone may have brought a goodly and appreciative turn-out to Soho's Pizza Express Jazz Club. If so, Howard Riley and Keith Tippett met all their expectations. delivering a three fine sets--alone and finally together. Tippett opened the event--hints of blues ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard Riley: Howard Riley: Lush Life

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With the reissues of Discussions, Angle and The Day Will Come, the last few months have offered an embarrassment of riches for Howard Riley fans. We have here two recent solo recordings, one in the studio and one live in Lithuania, and a live duo album with the late, great Jaki Byard from 1985. Of course, there was a great deal going on between The Day Will Come and 10.11.12. There were duos with Keith Tippett, quartets with Art Themen ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Howard Riley: Reinventing the Jazz Piano Trio

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Even allowing for journalistic hyperbole, the phrase “reinventing the jazz piano trio" was a doozy. It all seemed a bit “Emperor's new clothes" or, as my late mother used to put it, “new coat and no knickers." For a time in the noughties, British critics variously applied the phrase to Esbjorn Svensson, Brad Mehldau, The Necks, The Bad Plus, Michael Wollny, Vijay Iyer and even Neil Cowley. One wondered what these writers knew of Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Don Pullen ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard Riley: 10.11.12

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English pianist Howard Riley has found a late career champion in the Lithuanian No Business imprint. 10:11:12 constitutes his fourth release in as many years. In the liner to his previous album Live With Repertoire (2013), the pianist explained that he likes to characterize his gigs into with/without repertoire. As such this outing falls mainly into the latter camp, comprising as it does five inventions and a standard. Over the decades Riley has shown himself to be a master of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard Riley: Discussions

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The reissue on CD of Howard Riley's Discussions is to be welcomed, since it only ever saw a highly limited pressing of 99 copies when first released on the Opportunity label in 1967. It is also an important historical artefact because it provides a tangible clue as to how Riley progressed, via the foresight of David Howells at CBS, to record two outstanding albums Angle and The Day Will Come for that label. The sound quality on Discussions is not ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard Riley: Live With Repertoire

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British pianist Howard Riley's previous album on No Business, the monumental The Complete Short Stories: 1998-2010 (2011), was a revelation to many, collecting together 6 CDs of stunning aphoristic improvisations. However on Live With Repertoire, as the title suggests, the pianist concentrates primarily on the songbook, particularly Monk, one of his touchstones along with Ellington. In the liners Riley explains that his working method sees him treat a gig as either with or without repertoire, depending on audience, ambience and ...

PROFILES

Howard Riley: Live with Repertoire

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Pianist Howard Riley turned 70 in February and belatedly celebrates the event with the release of a new CD, Live with Repertoire (NoBusiness Records). It's a really strong live, solo set of standards and a few original tunes recorded last year in Leicester and one that emphasises one particular aspect of his playing. Riley remains one of the most gifted interpreters of the jazz repertoire in Britain or beyond. The last few years have not been easy for ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Howard Riley: The Complete Short Stories 1998-2010

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Howard RileyThe Complete Short Stories 1998-2010No Business Records2011 Veteran British pianist Howard Riley has found a champion from an unexpected source in the adventurous Lithuanian label, No Business. After issuing a double CD of the pianist's one man concert in the capital, Live In Vilnius (2010), it has gone further with a box set collecting a brace of previously released solo double disc sets along with a another two discs of ...


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