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Michael Wolff: Zenith (Solo Piano)  (Indianola)

Review of first solo recording from veteran pianist

Cover of Zenith album
Cover of Michael Wolff album Zenith

As with any solo piano recording, Zenith is all about pure expression. Sans accompaniment, with no other minds steering the direction or feeding off of him, Michael Wolff, on his first-ever solo outing, ably covers all of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic bases, creating a self-contained world within each piece.

Wolff’s résumé stretches back more than four decades, as accompanist, collaborator and leader in dizzyingly diverse situations, and on Zenith, co-produced by Wolff and NewK (John Newcott), he plays to the strengths he’s accumulated. On his covers—Coltrane and Bird, a few songbook standards, a number from contemporary singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens—and his original material, he is articulate and broadminded, and alternately contemplative, edgy and playful.

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