Rumor has it Gonzales recorded this sublime album (issued Stateside for the first time) during a difficult songwriting session with English pop legend Jane Birkin. That would explain the deep relaxation quality permeating every instrumental note. Here we have Gonzales, a Canadian-born musician whose résumé includes work with Feist and Peaches, as well as his own electronic albums, meditating alone over his piano. Solo Piano
is almost a set of études each track sounds like a sketch that required maybe a few hours of practice before recording, and yet these numbers maintain a form that is undeniably romantic.
Taking cues from French pianists Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel, as well as Keith Jarrett's solo concerts, Gonzales' Solo Piano is a warm and slightly eerie offering. It also contains echoes of silent film scores, which Gonzales touches on in the liner notes: "Although they say the piano can create the most colors of any instrument, it is actually black and white, much like an old silent movie." There is no film to accompany this disc, however, so pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and conjure your own mental images. Brian J. Barr