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Jeremy Woolhouse: The Persistence of Dreaming

Dan McClenaghan By

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The translation of melancholy into music can be a beautiful thing in any genre. Jazz, with its focus, on improvisation (to varying degrees), allows an artist to explore the nuances of mood. A framework that gives way to in-the-moment rumination or flights of fancy can make for the most evocative of sounds.

Melbourne, Australia-based pianist Jeremy Woolhouse goes solo on The Persistence of Dreaming, presenting a suite-like set of original tunes remarkable for their brooding cohesion and memorable lyricism. For a musician who switched from trombone and didn't get serious with the piano until he was nineteen years old, the now thirty-something Woolhouse has developed an elegant sense of keyboard harmony to go with his engaging way with a melody.

Much of the set, including the opener, "Fictional Lives," is steeped in a sense of existential loneliness. "Song for Lisa" celebrates, with a subdued reverence, friendship and muse, while "The Third Person," with its hopeful and introspective mood, may be taking a look, from the outside, at the concept of existence. "The Optimist's Folly" explores a light-versus-dark dichotomy (darkness seems to win) with its spare delivery and a mood of beautiful and measured melancholy.

This is a ballad set, with the title tune rising slightly, tempo-wise, above that description. The pace, introspection, gentleness, cohesion, and subtle beauty brings to mind a European/ECM Records jazz aesthetic on this very successful solo piano outing.

Track Listing: Fictional Lives; Song for Lisa; The Third Person; Optimist's Folly; The Persistence of Dreaming; Three Kinds of Distance; Awakening to Darkness; Unsaid, Undone; Presnece Beyond Absence; The Uncomfortable Present; Reality Revealed; Alone, in a Pressing Crowd of Thoughts.

Personnel: Jeremy Woolhouse: piano.

Title: The Persistence of Dreaming | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

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