Laraaji - Sun Piano

Laraaji - Sun Piano

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LP
Label: All Saints Records

Spiritual keyboard improvisations performed by Laraaji and recorded in a Brooklyn Church by Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Mary Lattimore). Sun Piano finds Laraaji fulfilling a lifelong ambition to return to his first instrument, learnt whilst growing up in 1950s New Jersey. A departure from his FX-soaked cosmic zither jams, these elegant miniatures nevertheless reveal enough personality and inner light to be clearly identifiable as ‘Laraaji Music’.

This release is the latest step in something of a late career renaissance for the New York City based musician and mystic. He first came to public attention in the late 70s via his entry in the legendary Brian Eno-produced Ambient series of albums, Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance. In the last few years his music has been re-discovered by a whole new generation of fans via reissues from the likes of the Numero Group, Light In The Attic and Leaving Records; new collaborations with underground musicians Dallas Acid and Sun Araw; a revitalised live presence that has seen him share concert stages worldwide with the likes of Solange and Jonathan Wilson; and a wide amount of media coverage: from discussing his love of orange clothes in Vogue, to demonstrating the benefits of transcendental music on BBC4 or performing a coveted NPR tiny desk concert . This latest musical side step introduces a new chapter to the story of a much-loved cult icon.

Recorded at the First Unitarian Church, Brooklyn, NY, December 10 & 11 2018. Engineered and mixed by Jeff Zeigler on behalf of Uniform Recording. Session co-ordination by Clint Newsom and Matthew Jones. Edits by Christian Havins. Mastered by Stefan Betke at Scape. Photography by Daniel Oduntan. Design and layout by Darryl Norsen. All compositions by Edward Larry Gordon, Warp Publishing Ltd, except “Shenandoah”, traditional, arranged by Laraaji.

A note on the recording - this is essentially a ‘live’ session, tracked inside a working church in a busy part of Brooklyn. Whilst Laraaji was playing, different community groups would pass through to use the church’s facilities, and a number of distinctive city sounds would sometimes penetrate the walls of the church, from police car sirens to the noise of schoolchildren. There are no overdubs, and Laraaji’s spontaneous performance is captured vérité style, with minimum application of artificial techniques to clean up what was captured on the microphones. Please note therefore that whilst chair scrapes, door slams and the breathing of the pianist are all audible, the full dynamic range and authentic spirit of the session are captured on this record. Some of the longer pieces have been edited into shorter sections thanks to careful attention and skilful work by Christian Havins of the band Dallas Acid, who have both collaborated with Laraaji previously and released their own album on All Saints Records.