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CultureJazz -The Art of Jazz Piano – “Koan” Spike Wilner

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mindset2We find with pleasure the New York pianist Spike Wilner four years after “The Tenderness” previous album which borrowed its title (and the jacket picture) to a work of his grandmother, the artist Marie Wilner (born in 1910). Koan with his reference to the Buddhist concept of spiritual awakening and his picture in the Zen spirit, we find it very touching feature of a musician lucid style that remains completely faithful to the soul of jazz by an accomplished master of harmonies and loosely ternary rhythms (I’ll See You Again …), meaning subtle melodic lines, the freedom left to the imagination in a formal setting respectful of teaching elders. Formed in the school of ragtime, stride piano and faithful to swing but fully engaged in his time, Spike Wilner knows how to take the listener on a seemingly light path which gradually drift towards the more daring harmonic development of his own compositions or interpretation he gives of themes borrowed from Duke Ellington (Warm Valley, Gypsy Without a Song), Tadd Dameron (Hot House) or Ornette Coleman (a Lonely Woman flipping …). Totally away from modes of gender (the piano-bass-drums trio in 2000 and his photographs) and not out of phase so far, the pianist and his accomplices discrete surely advancing on a path altogether rather classical but never outdated. The art of jazz piano in all its nobility and sensitivity used by a musician who is also a linchpin of the New York club Smalls.
Jazz, good, beautiful!

Thierry Giard – CultureJazz France


Written by editor

June 17th, 2016 at 10:28 am