476

Bill Brennan: Solo Piano

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Brennan: Solo Piano Newfoundlander Bill Brennan has created a beguiling, meditative and quite deep solo piano album with Solo Piano. He shares the same homeland as Patrick Boyle, and one can hear the very air and landscape pictured on the liner—a grey sky, boulder-strewn ground, and shallow stream—and a sense of isolation, but with a close connection to the nature of the place.

The pieces all have a floating quality. Brennan uses lots of pedal, sustained by overtones which, once you become aware of them, surround the piano with a high sheen. Their rhythmic quality is one of softness; nothing overtly swings, but rather lilts. This is jazz on the classical side, where the sound of an extremely honed touch avoids any stiffness, true for even the most composed and classical sounding piece, "Au Revoir Les Enfants," which is full of rubato and shifts back and forth from major to minor.

"Time Piece" has a bit of a feel of ballet music or an impressionistic Debussy prelude. Brennan sets a mood with the left hand, and then slowly adds color to flesh out the scene. "AM's Waltz" uses counter-rhythms to soften and subvert the triple time, while the harmonic movement of the beginning of "Pere Lachaise" is reminiscent of Chopin's E minor prelude. "Shale" paints one of the largest scenes and yet is quite delicate, but with an intensity that relentlessly pulls the listener in.

Brennan might wear his heart on his sleeve, but this music is very deeply felt, and it is easy to begin listening and then look up later, only to discover that an hour has gone by. Solo Piano is a lesson in subtlety and finesse where few notes take up much space and the music plunges deep.

Solo Piano is available online at the Canadian Music Centre.


Track Listing: Time Peace; Looking Glass; Au Revoir Les Enfants; Friends; Passage Overseas; AM's Waltz; Shale; Pere Lachaise; Petroushka's Dream; In Memoriam.

Personnel: Bill Brennan: piano.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Ambient


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "The Whole World Must Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Whole World Must Change
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Spin Cycle" CD/LP/Track Review Spin Cycle
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Absurdist Theater" CD/LP/Track Review Absurdist Theater
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 9, 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!