As Ernesto Diaz-Infante's fourth solo piano CD, Solus was a surprise. His first three releases dealt with minimal piano playing in reflexive moods, delivering very soft and tonal music. Solus is all free improvisation, abstract, atonal and a lot faster. Here, Diaz-Infante's playing sounds inspired by Borah Bergman (although less mannered). The pianist plays quick cascading notes, suddenly stopping to rest on one a second or two before resuming. Low and high registers are blended together. At times the music seems to become nothing but a vehicle for the pianist's technique, but usually there is a strong expression coming out of these dislocated improvisations. Most of the thirteen pieces are between three and four minutes of duration, allowing the musician to reset the mood often. If anything, this album casts a new light on Diaz-Infante's previous records: by showing the listener the extension of his piano technique, the improviser dissipates any doubts that Itz'at, Tepeu or Ucross Journal were the recordings of a limited pianist. They now clearly appear as deliberate artistic choices.
by François Couture