3

Roberta Piket: Solo

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Listening back on Roberta Piket's discography, with recordings like the trio affair, Love and Beauty (Thirteenth Note Records, 2007) and the ambitious Side, Colors (Thirteenth Note Records, 2013), it's clear that the New York-based pianist has established herself as "an artist deserving wider recognition." With Solo she cements a reputation as a top level jazz artist.

Solo features Piket alone with the piano, the most challenging of formats. To say she has risen to the challenge is an understatement. On a set of mostly standards and Great American Songbook classics she freshens some familiar fare, offers up two of her own "outside" compositions, and sequences a perfect set that showcases her own distinctive personal voice on the piano that combines a cerebral approach with a sense of fun and wonder.

"Never open with a ballad" is common advice. Piket ignores it, to her credit as it turns out. She marinates in the melody of the Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz gem, her spacious, deliberate unfolding shining a light on the beauty of a well-crafted melody.

Then there's Thelonious Monk. Piket celebrates the quirkiest of the bebop pianist/composers with a two part mini-suite: "Monk 1: Variations on a Dream," from Piket's pen is a craggy, convivial romp in the spirit of Monk, leading into a frolicsome take on one of his most familiar tunes, "Monk's Dream." Covered often, Piket's tribute is one of the classics, painting her own personality inside Monk's singular mindset.

Bright colors of the suite give way to darker hues with Bruno Martino's Bossa Nova, "Estate," followed by saxophonist Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." Piket treats the Shorter classic like a malleable piece of clay, shaping it to her own harmonic configurations, with the repeated melody in it center, surfacing again and again.

Piket closes out with two tributes. "Beatrice," from the songbook of the late saxophonist Sam Rivers, a beautiful, nonchalant rumination (a genuine nonchalance only the most skilled of artists can offer up), and the brief and beautiful "Improvisation Blue," written in the 50s by Piket's father, Frederick. The elder Piket was a classical composer. The tune—discovered in his musical scores after his passing by daughter Roberta—was an attempt at penning a "popular" tune. It is a poignant, perfect closer to Roberta Piket's most absorbing work of art.

Track Listing: I See Your Face Before Me; Monk 1: Variations on a Dream; Monk 2: Monk's Dream; Something to Live For; Estate; Nefertiti; Claude's Clawed; Litha; In the Days of Our Love; Beatrice; Improvisation Blue.

Personnel: Roberta Piket: piano.

Title: Solo | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Thirteenth Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Unfiltered Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Unfiltered Universe
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Before The Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon" CD/LP/Track Review Das Wohltemperierte Akkordeon
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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