Friday, February 28, 2014

Jamie Alexander Smith - Kinesis EP

Jamie Alexander Smith
Kinesis EP
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Jamie Alexander Smith - Piano

Jamie Alexander Smith is a Scottish pianist who has a new EP out of solo piano, four tracks running a total of about 15 minutes. 

Smith cites Keith Jarrett as an influence, and there are echoes of Jarrett in the way he combines classical and gospel forms. But it would be unfair to stop there, as Smith has clearly absorbed a lot of modern jazz and classical music. There are a wide range of approaches at work here, and Smith integrates them well, with good technique and a lot of independence between the hands. There are a couple of spots that seem a little too stylized and lacking in depth, but overall it's well put together.

I was pretty shocked to find out he's previously put out some Acid Jazz tracks, not only because the music on Kinesis is so different, but because I didn’t know people still made Acid Jazz music! In any case, this is a strictly acoustic, more avant affair.

Kinesis sounds as if much of the material is through-composed, but the release notes state that it is "four freely improvised tracks on piano". If that’s the case, he's got a nice sense of structure, as each piece is tight and the EP never lacks momentum.

Kinesis makes me want to hear more, which is a good sign. It’s available for not much money at the artist’s Bandcamp site.

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