The Complete Short Stories 1998-2010

Featuring: Howard Riley

Musicians on the recording

Howard Riley - piano

BEST BOX SET OF 2011 - NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

Recording track list

 

CD 1

1. The Opener 3:08
2. Eleven 2:31
3. Liason 4:25
4. Encore 7:25
5. Echoes 2:59
6. No Void 3:03
7. Stretch 2:56
8. Mythology 6:48
9. Branching 2:12
10. Hullabaloo 3:47
11. New Winter 2:18
12. Largo 2:42
13. Played In 2:25
14. Veracity 1:50
15. Only One 2:59
16. Headway 1:39

CD 2

1. Short Stories 3:21
2. Dedication 5:12
3. Sun One 3:50
4. One More Time 2:53
5. Axis 3:19
6. The Furthest Point 3’47”
7. After Which 4:49
8. Air Time 2:14
9. Alternatives 2:10
10. Regeneration 4:21
11. For Jaki 3:51
12. To Be Sure 2:40
13. Sun Two 3:05
14. Sincerity 3:45
15. Of Now 3:22

 

CD 3

1. Geocentric One 3:43
2. Up And Downs 2:50
3. With Ease 3:14
4.The Gap 3:17
5. Think Again 3:24
6.Geocentric Two 3:26
7. Palmate 3:32
8. Walkabout 2:34
9. Reconciliation 3:33
10. Branch Lines 3:24
11. Head Games 2:35
12. Splits 2:32
13. Concision 3:48
14. Shenanigans 3:10
15. Maybe 5:40

CD 4

1. Another Time 3:36
2. No Regrets 3:12
3. Ascending 2:10
4. Still Standing 3:20
5. Threesome 2:27
6. Of the Moment 4’30”
7. Reflective Tendencies 4:42
8. Inevitably 3:19
9. Sentiments 3:27
10. Open Question 4:29
11. Hidden Knowledge 4:52
12. Meeting 2:21
13. Hear Me Out 6:11
14. Passing 3:00
15. Roots 6:04

 

CD 5

1. Autograph 5:02
2. Distance 3:09
3. Silhouette 4:10
4.Only One 3:10
5. The Fourteenth 4:10
6. There You Are 3:54
7. Evidently 2:44
8. Related 4:34
9. Moving 3:47
10. Equanimity 3:47
11. Stopped 2:52
12. Reversal 5:59
13. Thinking of Midnight 4:42

CD 6

1. Dark On Light 11:04
2. Set Aside 10:00
3. Longevitine 11:19
4. Move On 9:22
5. Composure 11:08
NoBusiness Records NBCD 21-26
Release year - 2011
Edition of 300 copies

Credits and release info

 

The beauty of a short story, of course, is that it can be taken in at a sitting, indeed is so structured and formulated that it represents a single, continuous verbal performance, unlike the episodic or architectural structure of a long novel. It is, to that extent, a form that lends itself rather well to musical analogies, though not at first glance to improvised music, which tends to subordinate artful structure to moment-by-moment invention. And yet the greatest short stories can often seem improvised: brief, epiphanic flashes where the next step and the eventual outcome remain in doubt to the very end. There’s something of the humane embrace of Chekhov, Hemingway’s muscle, reticence and resistance to mere abstraction, but perhaps it’s Henry James, that master of indefinable atmospheres and of the tense dialogue between Old World and New World cultures. This is the realm Howard Riley occupies with magisterial confidence, jazz given not just a catch-all cisAtlantic accent but with Howard’s distinctive burr, classical language not simply swung but put through a harmonic and rhythmic gate that transforms it utterly. How to hear him? Italo Calvino, another master of the short form, put it perfectly: ‘It is not the voice that commands the story; it is the ear.’

 

  • CD 1 was recorded on 23rd July 1998
  • CD 2 was recorded on 11th April, 1999
  • CD 3 was recorded on 29th June 2004
  • CD 4 was recorded on 2nd August 2006
  • CD 5 was recorded on 27th June 2008
  • CD 6 was recorded on 22nd April 2010

 

All compositions by Howard Riley (PRS/MCPS)

Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios
Design by Oskaras Anosovas
Producer – Danas Mikailionis
Co-producer – Valerij Anosov

Reviews and articles

John Sharpe - All About Jazz

Ken Waxman - JAZZ WORD

Extended essays in the art of solo piano, these six CDs present 74 tracks which range in length from slightly more than one and a half minutes to almost seven and a half plus five novella-sized meditations from 2010. Someone whose interests include contemporary notated music as well as every variety of jazz, Riley’s showcases are consistent as well as brief. One of the most affecting tracks is For Jaki on CD 2, a bouncy ditty with Tin Pan Alley suggestions that honours the late American pianist Jaki Byard. Similarly the title tune is kinetic as well as dramatic, equally emphasizing high-pitched tremolo lines as well as a grounded narrative. Concision on the other hand, vibrates on the percussive harmonics which can be plucked from and strummed on the piano’s internal strings, while the steady lengthening lines of Another Time show harmonic references to Lennie Tristanto-like cool jazz. Riley’s discursive stop-time frequently recalls Thelonious Monk as on the tellingly titled Roots and elsewhere. Nonetheless, the extravagant dynamics he exhibits on The Opener are mirrored by his stentorian patterns on many other tunes, where Earl Hines-like walking bass notes and Cecil Taylor-like percussive runs vie for supremacy. Adventurous listeners on anyone’s gift list would appreciate any of these sets.

The Complete Short Stories 1998-2010 - Dominic Duval

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