Review of Piano

by Ian Mann, 5th Sept. 2006

The album was recorded at St. Margaret’s Church, Putney in October 2001 over the course of a single day and the pieces were played in the same order as they appear on the CD. Besides his jazz training at Berklee College, Boston, USA Ford has also studied classical piano extensively and both these aspects of his playing can be heard here.

The music fulfils Ford’s aims of stillness and purity of atmosphere and although the Jarrett influence is readily apparent Ford also cites Morton Feldman, Persian classical music, John Adams and Paul Bley as inspirations.

There are eight short pieces rather than a sprawling single improvisation a la Jarrett. Talk To The Chords is reminiscent of Jarrett’s gospel stylings, whereas Modern Memory owes more to contemporary classical composition.

Trilogy features the drone of an organ pedal operated by Max de Wardener (who also produces the album). This, combined with Ford’s use of the piano innards adds something of a sepulchral tone to the atmosphere of the church.

The low-key atmospherics of Piano are something of an acquired taste but confirm Ford as a highly versatile and individual talent deserving of greater recognition.

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