Good Days At Schloss Elmau

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Gwilym Simcock
LABELS: ACT
PERFORMER: Gwilym Simcock (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: ACT 9501-2

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Good days indeed. There’s one track here that’s an overt tip of the hat to Keith Jarrett, but the critical tendency to file any pianist who doesn’t sound like Cecil Taylor under ‘Jarrett school’ is a disservice to many and to Simcock more than most. What might be closer to the mark is the contention that Simcock’s music has also been directly shaped by many factors that influenced Jarrett before him: a prodigiously early involvement with classical music, a music college education and a self-discovered passion for improvisation.

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New to the ACT catalogue, Simcock’s musical sojourn at this spa/cultural retreat has resulted in a solo album that combines all of these elements with his signature rolling, tumbling style in a fine display of musical fireworks. Some ideas on the longer tracks are a little overcooked, but overall this well-recorded music is a fine balance between spontaneity, discipline
and technique. Roger Thomas