Howard Riley

Inner Minor

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Inner Minor is a 1996 solo recording by British pianist Howard Riley. These 12 short pieces (all under ten minutes) encompass everything from free improvisation to swing ballad, but most of them are improvisations structured around a theme or a chord sequence. Ideas are precise, well-developed, not the least bit overstretched. This CD has the kind of unpretentious at-ease feeling one can only get from a veteran player like Riley. He's in great shape, both technically and artistically. The album also sounds like a back-to-the-roots endeavor since the pianist doesn't venture inside the piano at all, always limiting himself to the keys. The result is a light avant-garde jazz that even purist ears might enjoy.

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