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Bobby Few: Lights and Shadows

Listening to Bobby Few play piano is like reading Ulysses: You can detect warm, familiar stories, but you have to make sense of the tendrils of abstraction covering them. Lights and Shadows, however, pares down some of the density in Few’s work, revealing more of his stunning musicality and swing.

The opening “Bells” is relentless, engaging free-jazz. It begins with light bells, immediately replaced by an approximation of a brick-sized-hailstorm. But Few’s firm left hand works a pulse packed with dissonance, but also power, as if suggesting that his unrestrained improvisation can’t overthrow his discipline.

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