Some purists prefer artists to stay in their lane, but often when they venture out of that tried and tested territory, we hear another side of their superb musicianship. Such is the case in the new recording of Sydney-based jazz pianist Tim Bruer. Essentially fully written compositions, they give the jazz musician the chance to create music with the option of editing, which isn’t possible in the realtime process of improvisation that is central to jazz practice. However, there are some jazz influences sprinkled about in Love letter #6, essentially a jazz waltz, and in Tim’s Pop Song. Love Songs #7 and #9 are original improvisations that Bruer once recorded and then transcribed. No mean feat capturing spontaneously conceived music and getting it down on paper, as Bruer acknowledges in his liner notes. A standout track is the brief inspirational Love song #5, subtitled Elegy for Biddy. Composed after returning from a cathartic pilgrimage in Spain as part of his grieving for his late mother, it perfectly captures the album’s theme. Changing lanes, Bruer has delivered a stellar album full of warmth, understatement, and effortless flow with a unique rhythmic sensibility that is best listened to in its entirety.
– Barry O’Sullivan