Bobby Few
Lights and Shadows

[Boxholder Records, PO Box 779, Woodstock, VT 05091, USA]

Pianist Bobby Few reminds me of spring. His playing is fresh, without being overtly sweet. It's challenging without being rough. It's jagged without a sharp edge but mostly it's here and now. The pianist who has played with the likes of Noah Howard, Steve Lacy, Alan Silva and Archie Shepp has also released a good number of solo records. "Lights and Shadows" sees him captured in the moment in Paris back in November 2004. Only one of the seven tracks was penned by someone else. Steve Lacy composition "Flakes" sees Few strike a more dissonant chord, playing thick clusters on the ivories. The album's most interesting pieces is the opening "Bells", where Few employs a variety of bells to build up a multi-faceted concoction. The title track and "What You Doing?" sees the pianist move through a series of high and low contrasts. The clusters come and more melodic passages take their place. He never plays for speed or pure effect. What's great about Few's approach is his key concern seems to be with emotional aspect. In that department, "Lights and Shadows" is a true winner.

  - Tom Sekowski

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