Vibraphonist Dave Pike's debut for Muse (which has been reissued on CD) has generally strong individual playing although the material (five group originals plus a brief version of the bop standard "Wee") and use of electronics sound a bit dated. Pike teams up with keyboardist Tom Ranier (who also plays some alto and tenor), guitarist Ron Eschete, either Luther Hughes or Harvey Newmark on bass, drummer Ted Hawke and (on three of the six numbers) guitarist Kenny Burrell. Nothing all that memorable occurs during this lesser effort.
Dave Pike has been a consistent vibraphonist through the years without gaining much fame. He originally played drums and is self-taught on vibes…
The violin and piano sonatas of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel draw on foreign idioms: gypsy music in Debussy's case and African-American blues in Ravel's. But they remain completely French works, spiced with something exotic, and British violinist Jennifer Pike forges interpretations that keep this in mind. Start with the "Blues" slow movement of the Ravel Violin Sonata in G major: Pike and her accompanist, Martin Roscoe, avoid exaggerating the bluesy qualities of the music and instead emphasize the odd, almost tense disconnection between violin and piano that, combined with the languid blues melodies, gives this piece its special piquancy.
Jennifer Pike, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition at the tender age of 12, appears to have survived the perils of prodigyhood and entered her early twenties with musical intelligence intact. Here she offers a terrific program of music from the middle of the 19th century; all of it is abstract, but it brings vividly to mind the crucial trio of creative figures who met in the early 1850s: the ailing Robert Schumann, his musically frustrated wife Clara, and the young Johannes Brahms, mooning over the latter.