RECORDS / New Releases: Howard Riley: Beyond Category (Wondrous WM0104, CD)

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The Independent Culture
A homage to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, two great jazz composers who were also adjacent links in a fascinating line of piano-players that ran parallel to the better-known virtuoso tradition of men such as Art Tatum and Bud Powell. Riley, a British pianist best known as a brilliant exponent of free improvisation, examines both their famous ('Sophisticated Lady', 'Round Midnight') and less familiar work ('Fleurette Africaine', 'Coming on the Hudson') with love, respect and insight, adding considerably to his own stature in the process.