I Still Play
I Still Play is a compilation of brand new solo piano compositions by composers across jazz, classical, pop and experimental (modern) music that have recorded for the Nonesuch Records label.
The majority of the works are performed by classical pianist and composer Timo Andres (who also contributes a new piece called Wise Words) and Brad Mehdldau and Randy Newman perform their own contributions, with Jeremy Denk enlisted to play the title track – a lovely piece of surprising modulations from John Adams.
It’s big-name paradise here – Philip Glass and Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson and Louis Andriessen…
And as you would expect it’s not only all-class there’s a wonderful nocturnal mood here – Nico Mulhy’s opener, Move, setting the scene. A delicate dance across two and a half minutes with surprising stop-starts as if the composer was observing silence and putting the findings to pen and paper for Andres to translate with his deft skill.
From there we have Andres’ own Wise Words which is a gentle and evokes Mehldau’s film score work and Radiohead covers – Mehldau’s own L.A. Pastorale, arriving midway through the album, is very much in that vein, all lovely long resonations.
Philip Glass’ piece rocks back and forth between short notes and long chord-placements that create the divide.
Laurie Anderson’s Song For Bob is glorious neo-classical – again a soft dance of music that Andres controls beautifully.
These are pieces that ring with hope and resilience and feel just right for right now.
Steve Reich’s For Bob feels like an answer to Anderson’s piece – a continuation that arrives and stretches out after the Mehldau offering.
Mehldau returns to translate a Pat Metheny composition (42 years) from piano. It’s the longest single piece here and in unfurls like so many curls of smoke.
Randy Newman’s closing piece, Recessional, at just 0.54 is the shortest piece here; I’m sure it’s an offcut from any of the movies he has scored over the last 40 years or so. But it’s also the perfect way to close this compilation; regal and with just enough of an element of surprise to it.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron