Pianist Chris Goslow Releases “Jaguar Love Letter” LP
From the dreary opening bars of “Fallen Angel” to the springy groove of the title track in Jaguar Love Letter, there’s no escaping the creative whimsy of Chris Goslow in his latest release. Although presented through a pressurized mix, tracks like “Koala Bear Shimmy,” “King Zealot,” and the mesmerizing “Magenta Sunset” have a lean and mean sonic profile that makes it easy to attach ourselves to their at times agile movements.
While it might be hard to tell what’s coming around the next corner in “Our Little Secret” or “The Piano Electric,” Goslow’s demeanor remains consistent from one song to the next in Jaguar Love Letter, suggesting an ease with both his instrument and the studio environment that is not indicative of an amateur player, but instead someone of a greater pedigree in music. “Life’s Great Mysteries,” “Sparkle Magical,” and “Swept Away” require more soul from their player than most instrumental piano songs would, but luckily for the audience, this is a musician who knows what kind of emotions he wants to present through his keys – and all of them are more vivid than I would have ever initially anticipated.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: https://chrisgoslowmusic.com/
Supple textures haunt us in “Strange Beauty” and “Fool’s Paradise,” but “Mom’s Reading Chair” and “If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now” are by far the most physical numbers in this LP. I really appreciate the attention to detail that Goslow is affording this mix, and there’s never an instance where it seems like he’s cutting corners just to get us something with a little more punch to it. He’s already got enough oomph in the melodies we find in “Morning Will Come” and “Childhood Memories” to compensate for a lack of instrumental depth here, not to mention there isn’t an intricate note emitted from the polished final product. A cerebral theme can be unearthed from the tone of songs like “Our Little Secret” and “King Zealot,” but it’s not so intellectual in presentation that we aren’t able to appreciate the simplicity of Goslow’s execution. He’s able to be cut and dry without giving up a conservatively fashioned album, which isn’t the standard in this genre of music at all.
None of the overly postmodern elements that I’ve been hearing in the output of this artist’s peers can be found in Jaguar Love Letter, and I think one of the biggest points of consensus among critics with this album is going to be its charismatic use of both timing and tonality. You don’t need a huge band behind you nor even something as basic as crashing drum beats to get our hearts racing when you’re pushing melodies as big as those in this record are, and while Chris Goslow is still flying under the radar of the mainstream, he’s playing like a world-class talent in this album and inviting us to one of the few compact disc-bound concerts worth getting excited about this spring. Instrumental music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who really enjoy this kind of thing, Jaguar Love Letter is a smashing effort.