British pianist Keith Tippett
toured Japan in 1997. Recorded live on June 13, 1997 (a Friday, of course) in Sendai, Friday the 13th
was first issued as a Japan-only item, but Voiceprint (via its subsidiary La Cooka Ratcha) gave it an international release. This CD is comprised of one 48-minute solo performance. Rarely has Tippett
been in better shape than on that evening. He begins his improvisation with waves of thunderous bass notes, building motion in time, reaching deafening decibel levels. Moving inside the piano, he places objects on the strings and plays with resonances, becoming quieter. Jazzy chord progressions break in at times, only to be toyed with and hacked to pieces. Tippett
's stamina is often his force and here again he uses large amounts of energy to drive the piece forward with exhilarating results. His mastery of the instrument is comparable to Cecil Taylor
's. Stronger than Une Croix dans l'Océan
for reasons that are difficult to express (so much energy and focus!), Friday the 13th
is simply a stellar performance from one of the most melodious free improv pianists around.