The brilliant UK pianist Howard Riley is caught live in a US tour in the fall of 1976, recorded at 3 locations in NYC and in Buffalo, NY, each of the well-recorded improvisation a masterwork of extended form as he plays both outside and inside the piano, ranging from warm sections of lyrical quality to fast-paced streams of consciousness in a Cecil Taylor mode; magnificent.
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Catalog ID: NBCD 111
Squidco Product Code: 26798
Packaging: Jewel Case
Track 1 recorded at Free Music Store, in New York City, New York, on October 28th, 1976.
Track 2 recorded at Amherst, in New York City, NY, on November 18th, 1976
Tracks 3 and 4 recorded in Buffalo, New York, on November 29th, 1976.
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• Show Bio for Howard Riley
"John Howard Riley (born 16 February 1943) is an English jazz pianist and composer. Riley was born in Huddersfield. He began learning the piano at the age of six, and began playing jazz as early as the age of 13. He studied at the University of Wales (1961-66), Indiana University in America under Dave Baker (1966-67), and then at York University (1967-70). Alongside his studies he played jazz professionally, with Evan Parker (1966) and then with his own trio (1967-76), with Barry Guy on bass and Alan Jackson, Jon Hiseman, and Tony Oxley for periods on drums. Additionally he worked with John McLaughlin (1968), the London Jazz Composers Orchestra (1970-1980s), and with Oxley's ensemble (1972-81). He and Guy worked in a trio with Phil Wachsmann from 1976 well into the 1980s, and played solo piano throughout North America and Europe. From 1978 to 1981 he played in a quartet with Guy, Trevor Watts, and John Stevens; in the early 1980s he did duo work with Keith Tippett, with Jaki Byard, and with Elton Dean. From 1985 he worked in a trio setting with Jeff Clyne and Tony Levin. Riley has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and currently teaches at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he has taught continuously since the 1970s."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Riley_(musician))
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1. Blocks 25:25
2. Big City 21:21
3. Flower Street 13:09
4. Tolerance 14:16
sample the album:
"The British pianist Howard Riley spent time studying, teaching and playing in the States as well as in his home country, and it is this nomadic spirit that allowed his playing and technique to develop continuously throughout his career. Riley notes in the brief liner section that he was experiencing a period of transition when these solo performances were recorded in New York City and Buffalo during the mid 1970's. The sound of the album is crisp and clear allowing the listener to hear Riley explore the entirety of they keyboard, beginning with the opening track where he frames his improvisation by playing inside the piano for a bit, creating unusual sounds that are then absorbed by his more conventional piano playing. Conventional doesn't mean stilted though, given the strength and the imagination that Riley can call upon in developing improvisations that are capable of building hypnotic narrative structures and sections of freedom that can last twenty minutes or more. The music is somewhat reminiscent of the fully improvised solo piano albums and concerts which Cecil Taylor used to perform, like Silent Tongues or For Olim. The warm accessible sections will be mixed with bracing cascading cells of freely improvised piano, and the dynamic nature of these yin and yang opposites provide the locomotion that drives the music relentlessly forward, or spontaneously composing, using the length and breadth of the instrument. The second two performances show the exciting exploration of a musician who is in the process of refining his talent, approach to the keyboard and the arts of composition and improvisation, allowing him to adjust his performance by extending and expanding his personal approach to the instrument. His skill and technique are at a very high level, but they don't overwhelm the listener and the music remains thought provoking throughout the disc, with a sense of narrative which seems to propel the sound, texture, and shading of his music. Riley is a channel for the musical information and technique to flow, refining his music as both a concept and a language, and is is fascinating to hear. This is a minimally designed package with a brief statement from Riley and discographical information. The music contained within is memorable, that of a major player during a period of growth and renewal. Riley's music is complex but never overwhelming, and fans and students of modern improvised piano should take note."-Tim Nildand, Music and More
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NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
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