I was fortunate in meeting Paul Edis in March, when he was playing in an ensemble. The advantage of both Not Like Me and Just Like Me is that they’re albums of solo piano playing. Together, they show him at his best.
The suddenness with which Pulse begins and ends seems a metaphorical representation of life – beginning as abruptly as it ends. It’s a mesmerising piece to start these two albums and they continue with a lyrical virtuosity. I’m so used to hearing ensemble playing that the beauty of solo piano is refreshing and rewarding.
The title track of Not Like Me is a stunningly aggressive piece which bounds around the ears and the brain with an energy that fades swiftly and enigmatically. The stunning interpretation of My Favourite Things takes the Richard Rodgers classic to a new level of jazz piano and is certainly my favourite thing – of the tracks composed by others. With the possible exception of Bring Me Sunshine, which Eric Morecambe would probably have loved.
Just Like Me was recorded two years after its 2013 partner and shows more of Edis’s creativity, with the beautiful Montage particularly lovely to start this second album. There’s a distinctive take on Coltrane’s Giant Steps, as well as some traditional tunes given the Edis jazz treatment.
While Not Like Me concludes with Sunrise, Just Like Me ends on Sunset, in a cyclical double album that seems both personal and autobiographical, with a personal choice of other’s tunes alongside self-penned pieces. This is a gorgeous double album which comfortably blurs the lines between classical and jazz piano. Buy it. Listen to it. Enjoy it.
For more information on Paul Edis and to buy the double album, go to www.pauledis.co.uk