Inner Nova Music 2020
Art-rock ivories maven goes beyond the horizon in search of his innermost essence and brings it back for the public to marvel at.
Although Andrew Colyer has been busy lately – his was one of Frank Wyatt’s friends on "Zietgeist" and was featured in Robert Berry‘s band on the "The Rules Have Changed" tour, and that’s without mentioning his prominent role in CIRCULINE whose recent live record – the American maestro still found time for a non-prog solo outing. Or, rather, the time – for this album is the best reflection of Colyer’s classical leanings and jazzy edge, and a pinch of new-age, too, to make it even more reflective. Yet there’s no abstract musings on “Mists Of Time” which, for all the mesmeric ambience on offer, feels firmly focused on the composer’s surroundings, the ever-changing setting his listener can easily relate to.
From the aural beads of the two-part “Rain Notes” where a synthetic strings-drenched soundscape sees the tune getting fleshed out to move through various moods and tentative grooves, to the faux-orchestral suspense of “Serenity” – the record’s voice-enhanced recital-like finale, the ivories driver’s deceptively calm dynamics never fail to impress. Andrew is a shrewd leader: instead of setting one’s mind at ease, he’s bent on provoking a thought, and not for nothing “Oliver’s Journey” has the glimmering “On Broadway” instrumental refrain attached to the otherwise sparse piano line which slyly strives to improvise only to keep such meandering in check by engaging the two extremes of Colyer’s keyboard.
He can be elegiac as “In Alex’s Orbit” suggests before drums anchor the piece, and reckless as the fusion droplets of “Climb” show; chamber-somber as in the refreshed take on 2017’s digital single “One Thing” and unhurriedly intrepid as in the epic “Ghosts Of Aberfan” – the display of the musician’s impeccable technique; but ultimately, it’s Andrew’s emotionality that must matter most – and does so in “Overcoming” with a lot of gusto, sending gusts of wind through the listener’s very psyche. Mists of time has an air of mystery around them, yet Mr. Colyer mastered the art of painting ethereal pictures and generously shares his images here. Quite an exhibition!