Rich Pellegrin: Passage (OA2 Records, 2022)

April 14, 2022 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rich Pellegrin: Passage

Passage is a second volume of piano improvisations recorded in a church near Seattle during the same time period as Pellegrin’s Solitude from last year. Here, the tracks are arranged into three sets so that there’s some sort of vaguely cinematic arc to them, though no explanation or suggestion is provided as to what the story could be, and it’s entirely left up to the listener’s interpretation. Most of the tracks are short, around a minute or so, and often the ones that are a bit longer leave more of an impression. “Improvisation IV” is one of the more layered, adventurous pieces here, feeling like it’s constantly averting its eyes in several directions at once. The longest one, “VIII”, is much more reserved, like a mouse afraid to crawl out of its hole in the wall. “XIV” is a piece of expertly paced trepidation, forcing you to look over your shoulder and watch your step. “XVIII” is one of the more luminous ones, and it couldn’t be more different than “XX”, an experimental piece which sounds like someone slowly sweeping the wires inside the piano rather than playing the keys. The third set is on the whole brighter and more energetic than the first two, and even when it isn’t, it seems like it’s more in focus.

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