Mike Nock – solo piano
4.5 stars
Reviewed by Barry O’Sullivan

As the title of pianist and composer Mike Nock’s newest recording indicates, it is all about the facility of perceiving sounds. More pertinently, interpreting them in a particular way. Mike Nock has embraced a varied sixty-five-year musical journey, receiving many awards and honours throughout his lengthy career. The spontaneously delicate bijou opener Prologue is followed by Sunrise, from Nock’s first solo album in 1978. The improvisation, Conundrum, then leads to Vale John, celebrating the life and friendship the pianist experienced with the drummer/ bandleader John Pochée, who tragically died a few days before this recording. A stellar Nock improvisation follows, then a delicate interpretation of Jonathan Zwartz’s And in the Night Comes Rain, proving sonically blissful, followed by Bernie McGann’s iconic Spirit Song, interpreted sensitively in reference to the original. Journey Through an Imaginary Landscape takes us meanderingly towards a personal favourite on the album, Nock’s interpretation of Bryce Rohde’s composition, Windows of Arquez, at the album’s conclusion. The atmosphere of quiet that runs through this recording is reason alone to recommend it. There is more air given between notes than one might expect from a solo piano recording, as this session is all about becoming cognisant of sound. At all times it is virtuosic and introspective, yet on occasions playful and melodic. This session of interpretations and improvisations gives the feeling of a continuation of an intimate, unique, personal musical adventure.