Steve Lodder: Tied Up With Strings review – inspiring set from cross-genre piano explorer


British pianist Steve Lodder is one of those first-call sidemen for anybody attempting something off the beaten track – he’s a member of the current Bowie-interpreting Dylan Howe band, and was a regular in the late George Russell’s UK orchestras, but he’s a cross-genre player with a devotion to keyboard music of all kinds. This solo album begins with a 14th-century piece from the earliest surviving keyboard-score manuscript, the Robertsbridge codex – which Lodder gently edges from a delicately ringing dance to a discreetly grooving improvisation. On his own Cranborne Chase he displays catchily bluesy turns and double-time bursts that suggest both Keith Jarrett and Abdullah Ibrahim; he plays the second movement of Bach’s Italian Concerto and the 16th-century virginal theme Monsieur’s Almain respectfully straight; and evokes Bill Evans’s conversational exchanges of chord-caresses and lightly swinging melody on Slippers Waltz. The most emotionally atmospheric piece is Lodder’s own spaciously abstract, Messiaen-like reverie Ronchamp; the most dramatic is an overdubbed feature dedicated to Joanna MacGregor. It’s an inspiring set for devotees of the piano, and for broadminded practitioners of it.


John Fordham

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Basquiat Strings: Part Two – review
The six-year wait for Basquiat Strings' second album of chamber-jazz fusions was well worth it, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

09, May, 2013 @9:00 PM

Article image
Anthony de Mare: Liaisons – Reimagining Sondheim from the Piano review
Anthony de Mare passes every idiomatic test put to him as he recites other composers’ Sondheim reinterpretations for solo piano

John Fordham

12, Nov, 2015 @6:30 PM

Article image
Cath Roberts’s Quadraceratops: Quadraceratops review – exciting genre-juggling
Roberts announces herself a blossoming presence among big-ensemble composers on this big sounding debut album, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

30, Oct, 2014 @6:45 PM

Article image
Kwabs: Love + War review – rousing, genre-hopping pop skills
Young British pop talent Kwabs is another of the generation who know no genre boundaries, as his super-varied debut proves

Tshepo Mokoena

10, Sep, 2015 @9:45 PM

Article image
Prince: Piano & a Microphone 1983 review – revelatory listen from a colossal talent
Prince’s amazing abilities as a pianist, on embryonic hits or cover versions, are all over this posthumous album – he’s on fire here

Dave Simpson

21, Sep, 2018 @8:30 AM

Article image
Peter Edwards Trio: Safe and Sound review – sensitive, impressive debut from rising piano star
Pianist Peter Edwards' debut is a guileless, soulful affair with an affection for classic jazz and a modern energy, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

27, Mar, 2014 @10:30 PM

McCormack/Yarde/Elysian Quartet: Juntos review – complex, genre-blending encounter
Piano/sax duo Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde join chamber group Elysian String Quartet for a soulful, affecting collaboration, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

12, Jun, 2014 @8:00 PM

Article image
Émile Parisien Quintet/Joachim Kühn: Sfumato review – exuberant genre-hopping

John Fordham

06, Oct, 2016 @5:00 PM

Joe Lovano Us Five: Cross Culture – review
With his recent two-drummers setup, saxophonist Joe Lovano celebrates idioms and instruments from all over the world, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

21, Feb, 2013 @11:25 PM

Steve Lehman: Dialect Fluorescent – review
Lehman's music can sound overly scientific to some - so this unexpectedly rootsy and frequently hard-swinging set, might be the ideal solution, writes John Fordham

John Fordham

19, Apr, 2012 @9:10 PM