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Roberta Piket: Solo

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Roberta Piket is an under-the-radar pianist who has made some excellent records. Among them are Love and Beauty (2007), an interactive trio session, and Sides, Colors (2011), with an expanded ensemble including woodwinds and strings. Her new album is a departure, her first solo project. Her strengths carry over: emotional honesty, harmonic ingenuity, taste and discipline.

Piket makes creative decisions on material here, and every piece sets up a special, separate challenge for a solo pianist. But to describe Solo as successful problem-solving makes it sound academic. It is not. The album opens with a dead slow, rapt version of the great, neglected Howard Dietz/Arthur Schwartz ballad “I See Your Face Before Me.” Piket’s chords are deep in the song’s sadness. Her natural inclination is toward the darker colors.

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