Hot on the heels of his unsettling Fluid to the Influence comes a very different opus from the Necks’ keyboard hypnotist, Chris Abrahams. But then change, surprise and contrast are in his DNA. In the course of an almost 40-year career Abrahams has played with an extraordinary range of artists including Silverchair, Jackie Orszaczky and Mark Simmonds, as well as composing soundtracks and performing in countless free-improvisation contexts. Climb is Abrahams’ first album of solo piano for a decade, distilled from recordings made over several years.
That distillation is key: you feel you are listening to not just his best, but his most distinctive solo improvisations. Each is a self-contained world of melodic ideas, mood or texture. Routinely in play is Abrahams’ penchant for glacial beauty, enigma and a sense of disquiet, as if something has been left unsaid. Elsewhere he pushes the sustain pedal through the floor and creates such barrages of hurtling notes it like being amidst a meteor shower.