There’s a wonderful sense of becoming, of exploration and playfulness on Minot, North Dakota-born pianist Brittany Anjou’s debut recording. She crams so much talent and energy into the album’s 10 songs that you wonder if she’ll ever come up for air. Enamiĝo Reciprokataj (Esperanto for “reciprocal love”) is the daring work of a 35-year-old visionary. Though Anjou sometimes seems about to spin off her piano seat, she’s ultimately a channel, a portal, extending joy and exhilaration to anyone with ears to hear.
The press release accompanying this album cites Anjou’s influences as Red Garland, Oscar Peterson, and McCoy Tyner, and yes, the spirits of all three do resound in her blaring block chords and intricate inner conversations. But there’s also something of Keith Jarrett’s instant melodies, the intimate touch-tone threads of Vince Guaraldi, and the grand madness of Dave Burrell. And that doesn’t begin to cover the electronic treatments that occasionally underpin her two trios (bassist Greg Chudzik and drummer Nicholas Anderson; bassist Ari Folman-Cohen and New York mainstay drummer Ben Perowsky).