Mitchell Froom — A Thousand Days
(Kontext 001, 2004, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01Solo piano records can be a strong romantic but minimalist statement depending on the performer and how personal he would like to make it. Froom’s biography reads like a who’s-who of modern pop and roots rock from his substantial producer credits supporting Crowded House, Richard Thompson and Los Lobos to his own two solo endeavors. Choosing the small Hamburg label, Kontext to release his third solo album of self-performed piano music is not as much a stretch as it appears on the surface. Subtle ambient segues introduce and exit most of the pieces which gives the set of fourteen pieces a distinct story line within a little under forty minutes. Completely unlike his 1998 all star record, Dopamine, this recording is a timeless statement that could be meshed easily into a classic Ingmar Bergman movie soundtrack. Most of the pieces blur together seamlessly in an ode to classic piano interpreters such as Roger Williams (“Autumn Leaves”). It’s not a piano album of familiar jazz interludes per se; instead it’s introspective and autumnal. At times the performance is desperately brilliant and moody without being overbearing. “Silhouettes” is the single piece that holds more of my attention than others that briefly linger before transitioning onward. Perhaps the most sincere pianist statement is “If” where a distinct empathy is spelled out across the keyboard. At times it feels like there isn’t much to hold onto as the performances seemingly drift and then evaporate. But then on second thought, that may be the specific intent of the composer.
Related artist(s): Mitchell Froom
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more