BBC – Music – Overview of Chilly Gonzales

Although he’s greatest recognized for his mischievous, a number of redefinitions of hip hop – together with his final launch (The Unspeakable…) which, he claimed, was the world’s first orchestral rap album – Chilly Gonzales is way from the wag he typically likes to painting himself as.

An erudite, articulate Canadian who began educating himself piano on the age of three, he concurrently baffled and beguiled followers in equal measure along with his first album of piano solos in 2004, and this assortment appears set to do the identical.

Typically in comparison with Erik Satie, Gonzales’ compositions present a welcome respite from on a regular basis noise, displaying a classy ear for melody regardless of their preliminary emergence from improvisation.

This second quantity, recorded over 10 days in Paris’ Studio Pigalle, owes a smaller debt to Satie, although there are occasions – Rideaux Lunaires, as an example – when the affect of the subdued however mellifluous tones of the Frenchman’s well-known Gymnopédies may be recognised.

Most of Solo Piano II, nevertheless, is a bit more upbeat, filled with playful prospers and hints of Gonzales’ jazz background. White Keys is summery and kooky, although the melody within the increased registers is fastidiously undermined by a moody retreat to decrease keys midway by means of.

Minor Fantasy, in the meantime, brings to thoughts photos of chic, high-ceilinged drawing rooms and tuxedos, and Evolving Doorways may nearly be Chopin at his most cheerful. Othello can also be sweepingly romantic, filled with mild trills and mild runs; however even this will’t cease Gonzales from puncturing the environment after two minutes with a slap of the instrument’s woodwork.

Most of all, the pleasure of Solo Piano II may be summarised by a sentence included within the liner notes to the primary quantity: “Though they are saying the piano can create probably the most colors of any instrument, it’s really black and white, very similar to an outdated silent film.”

This set is a welcome throwback to easier, gentler instances. It breaks no guidelines, however nowadays, coming from a star of so-called “various” music, that is arguably as revolutionary because it will get.

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