Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Robert Mitchell- The Glimpse

This latest album from UK Jazz and classical music star Robert Mitchell shows an experimental side to his playing. Not in the way that most “experimental” music is experimental, but because this album was recorded with Mitchell using only his left hand for the whole album. This “limitation” which he has placed upon himself gives the left hand the ability to be more creative and means that the player has to find new ways of filling the sound.

This gives the music a much more sparse texture and a lighter feel to it. The pieces, which draw on a range of classical and Jazz influences, from  Leopold Godowsky’s arrangements of Chopin’s etudes to Bill Evans who played left hand only for a time due to injury.

The music on The Glimpse is largely improvisational, which gives it a very free, relaxed feel. Opening with the light improvisation “Amino”, which slowly builds from a few sparse chords to a series of rippling single note passages one can sense the feel of the rest of the album, swinging gently between calm classical Preludes, Nocturnes and Lullabies to complete improvisational pieces.

This album highlights the creative possibilities thrown open when limitations are placed on the performer, giving it a unique feel and a minimalistic feel.