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When one thinks of Laraaji, one hears the sounds of spiritual music - zithers, chants, gentle synthesisers and such like. As one of the artists vital to the emergence of the ambient genre of music, Laraaji’s public image is well-earned and backed up by an impressive catalogue of LPs. However, there is another side to his music, one that is rooted in the more traditional sounds of the piano, the instrument he took up as a child. Sun Piano, recorded in a Brooklyn Church by Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Mary Lattimore) is the first in a new trilogy of records that Laraaji is releasing, finds Laraaji returning to the keys.
These improvisations are hugely lively, the energy and verve that Laraaji plumbs into his ‘deep listening’ music alive and well here. The tracks still have a meditative quality to them, but this comes through more in the bright harmonies than in Laraaji’s lusty playing style. Indeed, the way that Laraaji seems to almost wring the sounds from the instrument on cuts such as ‘This Too Shall Pass’ displays a power not often heard on his other records. His links to jazz, spiritual or otherwise, come into sharper focus here, the solo keyboard work of Keith Jarrett and Horace Tapscott apparent in Sun Piano’s trilling soundscapes.
Sun Piano is Laraaji, but not as you may know him. These bright and brilliant piano improvisations represent some of the most dynamic music he has ever made.
- 1 Embracing This 0:42 Buy
- 2 Hold On To The Vision 3:51 Buy
- 3 Flow Joy 2:30 Buy
- 4 Shenandoah 3:10 Buy
- 5 This Too Shall Pass 3:34 Buy
- 6 Sunny Day Horse 2:59 Buy
- 7 Elevation 3:18 Buy
- 8 Temple Of New Light 4:00 Buy
- 9 Moods And Emotions 3:30 Buy
- 10 Lifting Me 3:45 Buy
- 11 Resonance 5:55 Buy
- 12 Embracing Timeless 3:32 Buy