Tomorrow is the day we have all been waiting for: Solo Piano III will finally be here. Fortunately, we were at the premiere in Geneva. Unfortunately, Gonzo didn’t play the full album – however: Fortunately, the few pieces made my soul rejoice. Unfortunately, the Ostinato made me aware I’ll never ever reach heavenly Aretha’s voice. Fortunately, Gonzo gone Beast for a minute, played the drums like the most freakin’ Muppet. Unfortunately, my amateur rhymes are just a rapper’s spit turned into foam. Fortunately, this idea here killed the white paper syndrome. Unfortunately, “Fortunately, Unfortunately” was the first and only “Soft Power” song he played live in ages. Fortunately, it’s a (re-)start – those pieces belong to the stages.
I know this sounds much better in its original form, but it expresses what the whole concert made obvious: Gonzo embraces his whole oeuvre like never before. The upcoming album is not only a sign of the times, but a statement from a musical humanist.
Back in April 2013, we covered an interview Gonzales had with « Sud Ouest » (a regional French magazine). Within the interview, he indicated that the « inherently imperfect » sound of the piano sounds even more perfect to our ears, and added that there will, « no doubt be a Solo Piano III or a Solo Piano IV album.” Four years later, we’re happy to say that all signs are pointing to Gonzales actively working on Solo Piano III. The first hint we saw was a Twitter response Gonzales sent to someone who had a question:
Very rarely are we treated to a nexus of talent that echoes the great duos: Bacharach and David, Webber and Rice, Morrissey and Marr, to name a few. The inability for critics and music services to « pigeonhole » Room 29 is ample evidence of the novel space the album holds; not to say the record companies haven’t tried, with made-up categories such as « Classical Crossover. » After repeated listenings, Room 29 solidly remains in a category unto itself – a musical and lyrical adventure. Feist pointed out that Room 29 (the album) is actually the soundtrack to Room 29 (the performance), but while the majority of us miss out on the added visceral benefits of a live performance, Room 29 (the album) evokes powerful mental images of our own creation – a unique and personalized Room 29 performance for each listener. The review below is obviously based on our own experience (save a few choice quotes) and our familiarity with the unbelievably high water mark Gonzales sets for himself. Lire la suite →
It’s curious how a concert can be construed as a therapy session en-masse with characters on both sides of the stage divide standing to benefit. The « psychologist » wears comfortable slippers and sits on a padded leather chair. He or she has a bevy of tools at hand for eliciting responses from audiences, including musical instruments, voice, other musicians, and willing (and not-so-willing) audience members. In North America, traveling illusionists such as « The Amazing Kreskin » or the late « Reveen », blur the lines between entertainer, therapist, and illusionist, often employing therapy or other devices to not only entertain, but also to make grand statements on the nature of consciousness and one’s ability to believe. Lire la suite →
Good news: Japanese, German, and Canadian Gonzales fans can pick up Chambers right now as an iTunes Exclusive early release, plus Chambers is currently number one on the classical charts in Canada and Germany! We purchased Chambers on iTunes and are busy noting every aspect for a thorough review. For now, here’s the scoop on the iTunes download. Lire la suite →
It’s almost Valentine’s Day (or Saint Valentin), and Gonzales is showing his fans some love through a Chambers pre-sale on his website along with an instantly downloadable track off the album. Also new in the store are two music boxes: a hand-crank box that plays Solitare, plus a wind-up version that’s available as part of a Vinyl and CD package. Gonzales has also released the full track listing for the album within the images on his store. Finally, he’s offering a webstore exclusive bonus track that will not be available anywhere else: (Not) A Musical Genius. The album artwork extends what we saw in the teaser trailer: Lire la suite →
It’s hard to believe that half a year has passed since Solo Piano II was released, but as a timeless album, it keeps gathering new listeners. New fans may have picked up Solo Piano, Ivory Tower and « The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales » or other albums. With music as good as Gonzales’, there’s a certain ‘insatiable’ quality – a desire to seek out more emotionally stimulating songs. Luckily, Gonzales has an entire slew of albums and singles that you may not even be aware of. From original songs, to remakes and collaborations, there are plenty of relatively obscure discs and songs are available for purchase and download. Lire la suite →