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Ikkyu's Dream: Solo Piano Reflections

Davis / Swanson
Release Date: 01/12/2010 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1287   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Philip SwansonChick CoreaWilliam AckermanMiles Davis,   ... 
Performer:  Philip Swanson
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SWANSON Ikkyu’s Dream Philip Swanson (pn) MSR MS 1287 (61:35)

Philip Swanson has said that lyricism is at the heart of everything that he does. There is not a moment in this 11-piece collection of solo piano music that contradicts that maxim. He presents the material in a consistent manner that, under lesser hands, could produce monotony. There is a pervasive whiff of melancholy (Swanson prefers minor keys), restricted dynamics, and generally leisurely tempos, rendering an overarching sensibility with a Read more concentrated purpose. The effect is, as the title song suggests, dreamy. These are mainly recordings of Swanson as an improviser, which is apparent in his style of playing, featuring a firm bass line in the left hand and a freely flowing rubato in the right hand. More than half of the songs bear Swanson’s name, but even when the original composers are such figures as Miles Davis ( Blue in Green , two takes), Richard Rodgers ( My Funny Valentine ), and Chick Corea ( Crystal Silence ), the personal imprint of Swanson is firmly felt.

Swanson admits influences from classical figures, especially Debussy, but the idiom of this music is essentially jazz. The tradition of that music is immensely rich and varied, but the sound of one figure rings out, a hero of Swanson, Bill Evans. His particular profile sounds through in two ways here: via Swanson’s pulsating, humanistic sense of rhythm, and especially, his infatuation with rich and intriguing harmonies. A jazz pianist could not wish for higher praise than to be mentioned in the same breath as Bill Evans. Philip Swanson has achieved something quite formidable, albeit with stealthy elegance, to conjure the comparison.

FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

Ikkyu's Dream, for piano by Philip Swanson
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Neptune's Canvas, for piano by Philip Swanson
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 8 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Crystal Silence by Chick Corea
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Loss, for piano by Philip Swanson
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Interior Winds, for piano by Philip Swanson
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 8 Minutes 5 Secs. 
The Impending Death Of The Virgin Spirit by William Ackerman
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 6 Minutes 24 Secs. 
The Other Side, for piano by Philip Swanson
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Blue in Green by Miles Davis
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Peace by Horace Silver
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Babes in arms: My funny valentine by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Into the Mist, for piano by Philip Swanson
Performer:  Philip Swanson (Piano)
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 

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