It’s always nice when legendary performers strip their sound down to the basics and reveal the deeper soul and more personal emotion driving their artistry. Legendary pianist Alan Pasqua has one of those wild, expansive jazz and pop/rock resumes that one minute finds him recording with Bob Dylan and Santana and then grooving with Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker and late greats like Tony Williams and Michael Brecker.
While most of his own discography is swinging trio dates, he graced us in 2006 with Solo, an album of originals and improvisational pieces. A true testament to the pure, unfiltered emotion and melodic beauty of the piano, Pasqua’s latest masterwork Soliloquy captures a bit of that same spirit – only this time with mostly gentle, introspective and dreamily romantic impressions of a wide range of Great American Songbook standards (“Hello Young Lovers,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Embraceable You”) and slightly more obscure songs from that era.
Pasqua also pays homage to his association with Dylan via a meditative stroll through “Girl From the North Country.” While mostly soft and graceful in tone, several of his arrangements include spots for momentary, up-tempo whimsy and playful bursts of emotion - creating a truly soul-enveloping journey.