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Jazz Solo Piano

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Album Review

Charles Gayle has gained fame as a very passionate avant-garde tenor saxophonist, but this CD is something much different. The set is dedicated to the music of his youth, the songs from the 1930s and '40s that he heard at home. Gayle is reborn, temporarily, as a surprisingly effective pianist. Most of the selections he performs are standards and, although his improvisations are abstract, he does pay respect to the melodies and keeps the themes in mind. Gayle does not strictly follow the chord structures and his soloing is often thoughtful and out of time, even including some atonal striding. This is about as accessible a recording as Charles Gayle will ever make and it is generally both surprising and successful in its own way.

Biography

Born: 28 February 1939 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Charles Gayle made his first significant impact on the free jazz scene with a series of critically acclaimed New York performances at the Knitting Factory in the mid- to late '80s. The tenor saxophonist's hyper-kinetic free expressionism draws on stylistic devices pioneered in the '60s by the late free jazz icon Albert Ayler. Like Ayler, Gayle employs a huge tone which, more often than not, he splits into its individual harmonic components. Timbral distortion is a key aspect of Gayle's work. His...
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Jazz Solo Piano, Charles Gayle
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