marino Posted November 3, 2018 Share Posted November 3, 2018 I was adjusting my car's driver seat the other day, when I noticed that underneath it there was a small drawer, that I had not opened in years. It contained six or seven CDs; among them the excellent "Experiments with Pops", led by John McLaughlin on guitar and British pianist Gordon Beck. An album that I know almost note-by-note, and a pinnacle of European jazz. But even more interesting was a solo piano CD by Beck himself, recorded live for BBC at the Bath Festival in 1997, and called "Reflections". After a moment of, um, reflection, I realized that I had never listened to it! For some reason, after buying it, I had put it in that small, almost hidden drawer and forgot about it for years. Well, I listened to the whole CD while driving in traffic, and it was the best musical surprise in a long time. Fantastic, energetic playing, always clear and punctual, virtuosic without exhibitionism, and with a great sense of melody and pianistic "orchestration". Now, Gordon Beck has been a big influence on my playing; in my own little world, I have always envied his facility and fluid pianism - even more impressive if you think that he was largely self-taught. His solo album "Reasons" stunned me in the 80s, with such polyphonic density and effective distribution of the hands' roles... I really wanted to be able to play like him. (I still do, but I think there's little hope by now... ) Jokes aside, of course he played with Phil Woods, Didier Lockwood, Nucleus, Michael Brecker, and he was the only acoustic piano player ever considered by Allan Holdsworth to establish a regular collaboration with. To me, he's one of the unsung heroes of music. People like Dick Hyman, Mike Garson, Billy Childs, Geoffrey Keezer, and many others who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of quality and depth in music, without preoccupations about reaching superstardom, and being (usually) open, unassuming guys. They make the world a better place without asking much in return. [video:youtube] Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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