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Wandering minds might want to know. Pondering souls can take comfort, as meditation on sound confers solace. As abstract as Ernesto Diaz-Infante’s Solus is, it never displays perplexity, invasion, or ire. The San Francisco based composer plays solo piano on thirteen individually numbered improvisations that eschew swing for an internal rhythm not apparent on first listen. Diaz-Infante’s two-handed approach stops/starts, employs silence, clusters, and the ping-pong plunks of exploration.
Unlike the call-and-response of his recent recording with Jeff Kaiser Pith Balls And Inclined Planes (pfMENTUM), there is little tension apparent here. Besides the acoustic guitar he plays on the Kaiser disc, the sampling and voice make for an almost raucous affair (read Glenn Astarita’s review in the August reviews section).
Releasing oneself from doctrine and time is necessary for this piano exploration. Why is it that the silence after the 47-minutes of the CD ended were just as powerful as the music? I think John Cage could have answered that question, I’ll cue up the disc again.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.