Piano Solo, Vol. 1
2020 / Erez Aviram
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piano Solo, Vol. 1 is the debut solo piano EP by pianist/composer/arranger Erez Aviram and contains three original piano solos that demonstrate a very impressive command of a diverse assortment of music genres. Now living in New York, Aviram studied contemporary classical music composition and jazz piano at the Music Academy of Jerusalem. Best known for his work on the 2019 film The Mossad, Aviram also scored the documentary, Tali JAMS New York with Grammy-nominated drummer and arranger Dan Pugach. He recently released a solo piano single called “Houses.”
The titles of the three pieces on the album reveal little about the sources of inspiration for the music, allowing the listener full freedom to decide what the pieces are about - or to simply enjoy them without preconceived ideas about their origins. The music also shows Aviram to be an immensely talented pianist who is equally adept at subtlety and nuance as he is with drama, power and speed. I’m beyond impressed!
The first of the three pieces is “CMD,” something of a musical patchwork quilt that brings together a multitude of musical and cultural influences, piecing them together seamlessly into a dazzling new work. Middle Eastern, jazz, pop, classical, a touch of Gershwin, and on - a very powerful and compelling start to the album that makes you want to hear more! “Mr. Zhou” also criss-crosses a variety of genres of music, but stays primarily within the broad spectrum of jazz. It begins with a catchy rhythm in the bass of the piano. The minor key right hand moves freely while spinning a mysterious, magical spell and giving the feeling of being improvised. Masterful yet accessible! “Rechter” is lighter and more melodic than the other two pieces, showing us another side of the composer. Jazz chords and rhythms work their way into the piece, much of which is buoyant and joyful. In the second half of the work, Aviram again dazzles with his virtuosity before slowing and quieting to the end.
Erez Aviram’s Piano Solo, Vol. 1 is the most impressive debut I’ve heard in a long time. I love music that defies categorization, and this one definitely qualifies! I will be anxiously awaiting Vol. 2!!! This one is available from Amazon, iTunes/Apple Music and many streaming sites. Bravo!
March 11, 2020