Ernesto Diaz-Infante

Tepeu

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Tepeu is the follow-up to Ernesto Diaz-Infante's 1997 release Itz'at: still solo piano improvisations, still a Mayan God name for a title (Tepeu is the Governor, the one who brings order to the universe). However, there are differences between the two. First, the improvisations on Tepeu are much longer, the title track reaching 22 minutes. Somehow, this format works against Diaz-Infante's light and simple playing and his reflexive moods. It feels like he's thinning the sauce out. Second difference: his playing is fuller (there are more notes). On Itz'at, the stripped-down minimal expression was leaving a sensation of pseudo-atonality, but on Tepeu the playing is very tonal, almost romantic at times. It draws the album closer to easy listening than avant-garde music. On the plus side, the more agile playing can convince anybody who doubted if Itz'at was a hoax (can he really play?) that Diaz-Infante does have some technique, although he will use it a lot more on his fourth solo piano CD Solus.

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