AMN Reviews: Piano Interrupted – Two by Four (Days of Being Wild)

Piano Interrupted is London-based pianist Tom Hodge and French electronic producer Franz Kirmann. Hodge has a jazz background (most prominent on “Son of Pi”), while Kirmann has been tooling techno and pop electronica. “Two by Four” is a collection of their work so far.

“Étude” and “London Waltz” represent their earliest efforts, while the rest of the tracks have been recorded with a cellist (Greg Hall) and percussionist (Eric Young); delicious throughout, on “Son of Foug”, they escape the bounds of mere quartet and expand into epic landscapes. Strewn throughout are three, sweet Maghrebinian almonds the duo were commissioned to write for the documentary “Papa Hédi” on the life of the “Tunisian Frank Sinatra”, Hédi Jouni, from whose records they also appear to have snatched the odd sample – how otherwise to explain that swirlin´ but uncredited oud?

Deep and burled as polished walnut, the album flows smoothly over nine melodious tracks. With the touch of electricity, Kirmann honeycombs Hodge´s piano, and though a slight digital chill clings like frost to a track or two, “Two by Four” is warm, embracing, smiling.

The final je ne sais quoi is the crystal clear mastering of Nils Frahm, the young composer/pianist who is just as much of an artist and contributor at the mixing desk.

Stephen Fruitman