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Michael Sokolowski snuck off to New York to record Monday, a collection of solo ambient piano improvs punctuated by a duet with Tim Reynolds (with whom he also gave a performance at NYC's prestigious Knitting Factory last week).

To be honest, when I first heard the record I wished he had just recorded live to two-track in Miller's, where he performs every other Monday. Something about the vibe of noisy Miller's and their funky out-of-tune spinet adds (or is it subtracts) a certain undeniable character to his work.

But then I spoke with him about it, and he told me the story of the piano -- this grand Steinway at Sorcerer Sound in New York that's been fingered by decades of music legends. Suddenly, I could hear his fascination with this instrument saturating the record.

He makes love to this piano and joyfully toys with it, intermittently banging on it, poking at it, and seducing its various voices all the while rolling through his impromptu variations -- at least one of which recalls a track from Soko's In November Sunlight, released in 1996, a record which featured none other than Dave Matthews and LeRoi Moore on a couple tracks as well as the Wonderband's Houston Ross and Johnny Gilmore on bass and drums.

Sokolowski's is a deep-fused rock tonality with a serious jazz attitude 給 free-flowing, powerful and lovely. This spacey storm cloud is definitely a keeper.

— Cripsy Duck, Cripsy's Crawl, C-VILLE Weekly, June 26-July 2, 2001

 

 


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