Pianist Alexander Hawkins left behind a career in criminology to pursue an auto didactic path in music, and it’s clear that this is an independent mind untroubled by the doctrines of music education today. Already established as a major force in improvised music and working with senior figures like Mulatu Astatke and Joe McPhee, he’s just released Song Singular, his first solo offering. It’s evidence of just how good he has become, with an artistic stance that embraces the history of the instrument from Debussy to Art Tatum to Cecil Taylor, and no apparent technical impediments to his fertile imagination. Coherence and discipline are reconciled with exuberance and wit, old blues meet 20th century abstraction, and Hawkins reminds us at every turn that jazz is the cross road where many music styles meet.
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Jazzwise“One of the fastest-rising stars of the UK jazz scene, pianist Alexander Hawkins is remarkable in that he shines equally in both the further reaches of free improvisation and the creation of ingeniously crafted charts. ”