Jill Crossland: JS Bach Keyboard Works

This is one of those CDs we struggle to review: “Bach keyboard played well” is a little short, so we resorted to the biography and sleeve notes. The playing sounds difficult but Crossland is up to the task; for most of the CD the music flows around the listener like a fast river of notes, […]

Mirian Conti: Tangorama, An Anthology of 20th Century Tango, Vol.1

Conti writes in the sleeve notes that when she studied at the conservatory in Buenos Aires in the 1970s, she did not analyse a tango let alone play one; she herself dismissed tango orchestras and singers as “those old tango guys”. It was only when she moved to the US that she discovered her home […]

Roderick Chadwick: La Mer Bleue

This technical and slightly self-involved album revolves around Catalogue d’Oiseaux (“Catalogue of birds”), a work for piano solo by Olivier Messiaen. The full work is 13 pieces, devoted to birds and dedicated to his second wife Yvonne Lorio. The CD takes in the first three, the Alpine chough (chocard des Alpes), The Eurasian golden oriole […]

Murray McLachlan: Gregson: Complete Piano

This is an appealing collection of piano pieces. It takes in different styles and sounds, and ranges from the intimate to the more extravagantly romantic, but it’s got a definite charm throughout. It gets off to a cheery start with An Album For My Friends, 11 pieces written for friends and showing a love of […]

Pete Judge: Piano 2

Kicking sand in the face of under-achievers everywhere is Pete Judge, a professional trumpet player with the jazz / rock quartet Get The Blessing, but who can play more than one instrument, in this case the piano; this is a collection of tunes he wrote for another band he’s in, Three Cane Whale. It’s a […]

Murray McLachlan: Gregson: Complete Piano

This is an appealing collection of piano pieces. It takes in different styles and sounds, and ranges from the intimate to the more extravagantly romantic, but it’s got a definite charm throughout. It gets off to a cheery start with An Album For My Friends, 11 pieces written for friends and showing a love of […]

Thomas Bartlett: Shelter

Pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett has toured the world and worked with people from The National to David Byrne and produced the likes of St Vincent and Sufjan Stevens, with whom he earned Academy award and Grammy award nominations. But like all the rest of us, come lockdown he was stuck at home with only his piano […]

Justin Badgerow: Reminiscences of Brazil

This is an entertaining and varied programme of piano music. The Brazilian side gives the music life and a vivacity that’s a little unexpected but don’t expect it to sound very Latin American. It’s as much in the feel and passion as the rhythm. It’s robust, and powerfully played; there’s nothing of the polite salon […]