Vibraphonist Lewis Wright’s debut album on Signum features lifelong friend Kit Downes on piano and a short set of ravishing improvisations.
The only real problem with the album is that it's
More and more I'm listening to
In that way 'Duets' delivers. It is an addictive listen. A carefully put together list of new works that shift effortlessly from one mood to another (I'm trying desperately to avoid the word 'curation' here), avoiding musical cliche, and showcasing the dizzying technical mastery of both musicians in every single bar.
‘Duets’ opens with Fire & Flow, a track built on a recurring three-chord motif that rocks between menace and moments of joyous celebration.
Fortuna builds the intensity with a similarly pleasing commitment to the use of blistering piano chords, decorated with a melodic line that both
The third track – An Absence of Heart – offers a poignant moment of reflection. There’s a hint of the West Coast in there with a smattering of mid-20th century Paris to boot, mixed with a tantalising hint of mystery.
The fierce opening subject that starts Tokyo 81 appeals because of its tidiness, punchiness, and desperately cool articulation. The main subject’s unrelenting pursuit towards its ultimate conclusion is a thing of beauty.
It is the fifth track – the sweet-sounding Sati – on the album which really shines for me, laying out a story dripping with melancholy, loneliness and regret. Here Downes and Wright create a creepy kind of air with a tightly-drawn melodic subject and relatively contained improvisation. A circus feel underpins Sati which gives the whole thing
'Duets' featuring Lewis Wright and Kit Downes is available for pre-order now on Amazon and released on Friday 6 April.
Read an interview with pianist Kit Downes on the Meet The Artist site.
The Thoroughly Good Blog is an independent blog celebrating classical music and the arts. Please consider supporting its development in 2018 by donating using this PayPal.Me link. Tar.