Friday, May 3, 2013

Gregg Kallor A Single Noon Single Noon Records 2013

Gregg Kallor: A Single Noon
Those that travel in my inner circle know I am old school and pretty much of a geek when it comes to cover art and reading liner notes. I look at the whole package and Gregg Kallor gets off on the right foot with this beautiful cover shot for A Single Noon. Kallor has all ready received high praise from the brilliant Fred Hersch, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hersch and his thoughts on jazz and improvisational music are every bit as articulate and crisp as his playing. Gregg kallor is indeed a rising star with unlimited potential.

A Single Noon is a somewhat autobiographical look at Kallor and his life and times in the jazz mecca that is New York City. While pianists dot the landscape in the same fashion as taxi cabs, it is the ability of Kallor to approach his craft from the more conceptual that allows him to dig deep. The innate gift of digging deep permeates this release with heartfelt emotion performed with the skill and finesse of a surgeon. Another key component that separates Kallor from a tightly clustered group of pianists is that he is one of the rare artists that has the ability to walk the sonic tightrope of jazz improvisers and classical interpreters without the self indulgent exploratory others with similar talent are known for. Kallor and his open ended harmonic approach and keen sense of dynamics and lyrical motion are rare and comparisons to other artists would be inherently unfair to this dazzling young artist.

"Espresso Nirvana" is a tounge in cheek riff on the on going battle many of us face with some of our local coffee vendors and that ever constant fix some of us require to make it through our own personal rush hour. A haunting dynamic tension with a cinematic panache tossed in. Intimacy with a deft touch in a minor key. This tune highlights what a brilliant two handed player is capable of, poetic motion and lyrical wonder. "Giants" pays homage to the giants that have blazed the trail for those such as Kallor. Emotionally griping, a sonic shower for the soul as the mind begins to remember artists such as Bud Powell and those still with us such as Keith Jarrett. Improvisation skill that attacks on both the visceral and cerebral fronts. "Things To Come" is a slightly more free form improvisational escape with a syncopated driving tension of forward motion that prompts the word virtuoso all most immediately. An addictive dynamic tension pushing Kallor on as he shift harmonics and meter on the fly with an ease and grace not often heard. The operative word or conceptual idea may well be the pulse of the city that has so captivated Kallor and his artistry. This is the future of modern jazz piano.

The only difference between a critic and a publicist is the size of the paycheck. This is done for love, not money. Taking this into account begs the question, Will the music industry allow Kallor to break big or will he be held back by the industry simple because he is not easily type cast into one specific form or functionality of performance.

Easily one of the two best piano recording I have heard all year. Gregg Kallor announces his presence with authority and will be a force to be reckoned with from this point forward. Given the fact the solo piano work is the equivalent of tap dancing in a musical mine field, Gregg Kallor gives an exemplary performance.

Tracks: A Single Noon; Broken Sentences; Night; Straphanger's Lurch; Found; Espresso Nirvana; Giants; Things To Come; Here Now.

Gregg Kallor - Solo Piano.