(reprinted from 12/14/97 Philadelphia Inquirer)

(Dream Play )

Pianist Adam Berenson is keen on expanding the piano's palette. He strums piano strings, creates a happenin' free style, and renders some marvelous percussive effects on this double-CD recording with drummer Bob Moses and alternating bassists Rick McLaughlin and Scott Barnum.

Berenson, who grew up in Penn Valley and studied for three years with pianist Paul Bley, tests the confines of the piano galaxy without going supernova. The tone-poem qualities of this CD will be daunting for some listeners.

Berenson isn't shy at incorporating aspects of 20th century classical music. But he finds a lot of poetic patches in his forays. As on the 1996 CD Dialectical Constructs, he makes the knottiest music compelling.

-- Karl Stark.


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