Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chilly Gonzalez's Solo Piano II: Live in Munich

I have an absolute weakness for the piano. Whatever era, genre, artist or origin - solo piano melodies tug on my heartstrings and cast a motionless kind of quiet over me in a way that few other instruments do.

Songwriter, producer and world-renowned Canadian pianist Chilly Gonzalez is one of my very favourite masters of the keys, which is why I was elated when a recording of his beautiful Solo Piano II: Live in Munich was recently made available for streaming on Soundcloud. I've yet to see Gonzalez live - so this recording was a real treat. A welcome break from so much of the complicated clutter out there, it's an unembellished, peaceful kind of gorgeous.

I think Solo Piano II, which was a follow-up to the acclaimed 2004 instrumental album Solo Piano, was one of the most refreshing musical moments of 2012. Gonzalez's star-studded list of pals include Feist, Drake, Daft Punk and Peaches - all of who he's collaborated with - but on the Solo Piano series, it's simply the musician, romantic melodies and a lone piano.

The Solo Piano II concept came into fruition in 2011, when Gonzalez and his piano moved into Paris Studio Pigalle. Alone for 10 days, he narrowed his hundreds of songs and melodies that had been brewing for years into handfuls of songs that would be the follow-up to Solo Piano. In the end, the 14 pieces of Solo Piano II came to life to be just as breathtaking as one would expect from the eccentric, but brilliant, Canadian musician.

When people say they just don't make music like "this" anymore, Chilly Gonzalez's Solo Piano II is the answer to that.

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