Since Greg Burk's first three solo recordings were self-released, they may have gone under the radar for many listeners. This is his first recording to have a wide release, and a welcome one at that. It should help bring Burk's solo music to a deservedly larger audience. His thinking is wide-ranging and agile, and this music should help draw a swell of listeners to his solo work.
Burk is an adventurer who is at ease with both composition and improvisation. He uses the former to unlock the doors to the latter, but he is equally adept at letting his heart and mind rove untenanted pastures. He makes use of the keys and the strings of the piano to open a panorama that is as entertaining as it is interesting.
This CD was completed in a two-hour span with no edits. Of the ten tracks, four were composed. The tracks do not follow the order in which they were recorded, but the opening "Paper Piano serves as a fine herald of what is to come. On this improvised piece, he starts on the strings with a "buzz effect that lends character to the melody. When he moves to the keys, he uses the strings to counterpoint before chanding modes and veering between lyrical runs and introspective movements that smoulder as they gain depth and dimension.
"Ballad for Water, a beautifully detailed and gently stimulating improvisation, finds its groove in a quiet, unhurried and unfettered mood. The frame for "Big Bird, a composed tune, is serene; Burk fills it with variations on the melody and extensions of the harmonic palette. Burk's left hand makes strong statements in consonance with his right on "Look to the Asteroid. The melody sings a happy tune, making a joyous excursion and flitting along before the tension comes in and gives it a grittier tone.
When all is played and done, The Way In is an artistic triumph for Burk.
Track Listing: Paper Piano; Ballad for Gold; Look to the Asteroid; Ballad for sand; Walking the Earth; Wu-Wei
Personnel: Greg Burk: piano.
Year Released: 2006
| Record Label: 482 Music
| Style: Modern Jazz