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Sun & Moon Piano Bundle
All Saints Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
October 9, 2020


Sun Piano

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.

Moon Piano

Like the Sun Piano LP, Moon Piano’s predecessor in a trilogy of records from Laraaji, this album finds the spiritual/new age artist leaving behind his autoharp and other instruments in order to return to his first love of the piano. However, while these numbers are similar to Sun Piano in that they are keyboard improvisations recorded in a Brooklyn church, the music of Moon Piano is a more contemplative affair befitting its nocturnal title.

Indeed, while Laraaji may not have his previously utilised gongs or chimes to hand here, an air of calm serenity can be found across much of Moon Piano which immediately distinguishes it as a Laraaji LP. In contrast to Sun Piano’s bright, driven improvisations, here Laraaji retreats into a world of hanging cluster-chords and gentle melodies. The sense of stargazing wonder is reflected in Moon Piano’s track-titles - ‘Stillness’, ‘Bathed In A Glow’, ‘Feeling Lovely’ - and reminds the listener of the most tranquil moments of Keith Jarrett’s music. All in all, Moon Piano is a set as harmonious and healing as any of Laraaji’s more overtly spiritual works.

As night follows day, so Moon Piano follows Sun Piano. Laraaji’s latest collection of piano improvisations is a gorgeously ruminative affair from the spiritual music legend.

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All Saints Records

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Ambient and Modern Classical

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