Pianist Jaki Byard's first recording as a leader was not released domestically until this 1988 CD. That fact seems strange for Byard is absolutely brilliant on the solo piano set. Many of his selections (all nine tunes are his originals) look both backwards to pre-bop styles and ahead to the avant-garde including such numbers as "Pete and Thomas (Tribute to the Ticklers)," "Spanish Tinge No. 1," and "One, Two, Five." The most remarkable selection is "Jaki's Blues Next" which has Byard alternating between James P. Johnson-type stride and free form à la Cecil Taylor; at its conclusion he plays both styles at the same time. A highly recommended outing from a very underrated pianist.
Bernward Koch is a German composer, pianist and keyboardist. Additionally he plays percussion, bass, and guitar. His music mainly evokes a soothing and calming style, with a clearly recognizable melody from the piano, enriched with keyboards, flute, guitar,and percussion. His first release, 1989's Flowing, was successful, especially in the USA (and Asia),and achieved top positions on the Billboard New Age Chart. His tracks contributed to several US-Aids-benefit compilations among others together with Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Al Jarreau, Ottmar Liebert, Dave Grusin, Dave Stewart.
This second album from Karla Bonoff, 1979's "Restless Nights", has her incredible knack for deeply affecting, reflective songs on full display. She does once again go heavy on the love lyrics, but they're terrific love lyrics that are winningly intimate, & dig deep–it doesn't come across as mindless, annoying musings from some teenage girl's diary (even though they do seem extremely personal). They're a lot deeper than that & they are eloquently written. Karla's vocals are simply excellent: expressive, & lending themselves perfectly to the material (imagine a mix of the timbre of Linda Ronstadt with the delivery/ mannerisms of Jackson Browne). Speaking of the material, not only is it excellent lyrically–with rich melodies, masterful use of dynamics, & crisp performances, the songs come together gracefully & organically.