Michael Jones


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Both pianist Michael Jones and cellist David Darling are master improvisers, and on Amber they form a perfect team. Jones plays the piano with a delicate touch, sensitive to the patterns of nature; Darling adds dimensions of abstractions; both are in tune with the soul's inner musings. "Rainfall" is perfectly titled, as Jones is the plink to Darling's plunk. Darling's warm chords support the piece like a warm fire adds comfort to the storm. "Wu Wei" is bittersweet, an inventive syncopation with layers of cello (some electrified); the piece is like a carefree walk where you notice this and that. It reminds me of how a puppy frolics to investigate every leaf and bumblebee. The sequences slow to a drunken crawl, almost a race to see who can come in last. "After the Sun" is an inky and introspective solo by Jones, somber yet at peace. Sparkles of hope then come out in bright contrast to the edge of night. The eleven-and-a-half minute "Dreamlight" balances between a lullaby and space music. Darling offers broad plains of electrified organlike tones that create the sensation of floating in space. Both Jones and Darling fill out the musical space with tones that simulate starlight. The album ends with "Shadows of the Moon," a lighthearted piece that reminds me of the bounce of fireflies. The progression through the album is wonderful.

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