Released three years after the beautiful CD The Comparative Anatomy of Angels, Elegant Enigmas proved how well composer Daniel Biro was able to renew his style. The whole album is dedicated to the Fender Rhodes electric piano, Miles Davis' instrument of choice during his fusion period, and an instrument very rarely exploited in either experimental/contemporary or solo settings. The previous CD contained two short improvisations on this instrument ("Strange Attractor, Pt. 1" and "Strange Attractor, Pt. 2"). This one begins with a 42-minute continuous improv, "Imprint." Biro aims at showing all the resources of the instrument, especially in terms of timbre. The piece begins in the low register, very softly. The musician uses ripples of notes, timbral overload, staccato attacks, etc., to illustrate the richness of the Rhodes' bell-like quality -- a captivating, if not a little long, piece. "Elegant Enigmas" presents the interplay between the electric piano and the harpsichord (played by Jane Chapman). A formal piece structured around a gradually expanding range, it paves the way for the three-minute closer, an electric piano arrangement of Nino Rota's "Notturno o Mattutino." If this CD is not as compositionally striking as The Comparative Anatomy of Angels, it remains a very enjoyable opus, especially for fans of the Rhodes. The list of albums dedicated to this instrument is so short that Elegant Enigmas undeniably becomes a must-have.
AllMusic Review by François Couture