An audacious flurry of activity by Uri Caine has lifted the New York-based pianist to the upper echelons of his trade – and this brilliant solo jazz piano album is testament to both his exemplary compositions and virtuoso playing. It’s broadly high-tempo post-bop, but as with most Uri Caine projects, his range of potential reference points seem limitless. Caine learnt his trade playing jazz whilst studying composition with George Rochberg and George Crumb at University of Pennsylvania. Echoes of a classical heritage can be heard in his jazz reworkings of Wagner, Mahler, Schumann, and Bach of course, but are also inherent in the precision and complexity of his approach. These are all Caine tunes, save a lovely, twinkling rendering of Lennon and McCartney’s “Blackbird” and James Von Heusen’s “All the Way”, revealing a singular talent often submerged in his genre pieces. Here Caine ties his understanding of describing the arc of a piece of music to a gutsy, fearsome jazz technique. Fans of contemporary jazz piano can’t fail to be won over by Caine’s sheer ebullience. Here, with any possible accusations of NYC PoMo winking neatly sidestepped by the format, Caine stands up to be counted and is not found wanting.
Uri Caine is an Artist represented by Rosalba Di Raimondo (www.rosalbadiraimondo.com) in collaboration with Live Arts management srl