Liz Gorrill, solo piano
Recording Date: May 18, 1990 in concert at Greenwich House, NYC
Tracklist: 1. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To 2. Chord Storm 3. It Could Happen To You 4. Pulsation 5. A Different Shade Of Melancholy 6. We’ll Remember May 7. Thrill Me Dream Sequence: 8. Blues From A Subterranean Galaxy 9. Dreamflight 10. Deep Awakening
“Gorrill’s inner trip is as harrowing and exhilarating as white-water boating, and just as breathtaking.” – Wif Stenger, New York Press
“…It’s difficult, uncompromising music that is well worth hearing… she takes it to lengths and weights that can suggest Busoni… such kinetic energy that it levitates not only itself but the burdens of history, particularly piano history…” – Stuart Broomer, Coda
“Gorrill clearly is a major pianist.” – John Baxter, Option
The specific gravity of late nineteenth century piano music
provides a measure of Liz Gorrill, whose “Dreamflight” documents a 1990 concert at New York’s Greenwich House. It runs 74 minutes; the final half hour is a three-part suite. It’s difficult, uncompromising music that is well worth hearing. Though Gorrill is associated with the Tristano school, and her penchant for chordal extension comes from there, she takes it to lengths and weights that can suggest Busoni, the brilliant pianist, composer and deranger (of Bach organ works, especially) who around the last turn of the century achieved levels of pianistic excess that Liszt is only accused of.
Gorrill’s music here has a density that just about obscures roots in song form changes, often fixing itself within the lower and middle registers where sheer resonant force eclipses specific triadic orgins. The short “Chord Storm” is just that, very heavy, very deep, very thick chords, that pile up. (For immediate purposes, a chord is a combination of ten notes, an unfortunate physical limitation that can be overcome with the sustain pedal and rapid hand movement.) There is great power here, though it’s power that sometimes feels oppressive.
The final “Dream Sequence” begins with a piece entitled “Blues From A Subterranean Galaxy,” which, without a hint of Sun Ra’s leavening humour, should give a sense of what’s going on here: just imagine space converted to mass. What is remarkable, however, is what Gorrill achieves by the end of the sequence. The final “Deep Awakening,” along with numerous other moments in the performance, has such kinetic energy that it levetates not only itself but the burdens of history, particularly piano history, that Gorrill so willingly assumes elsewhere. — Stuart Broomer, Coda, May/June 1993
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
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