Pandelis Karayorgis Seventeen Pieces

With Seventeen Pieces, Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis turns in one of the most unusual solo piano recitals of recent years — a set of quizzical miniatures in which he plays cat and mouse with tunes by Lennie Tristano, Sun Ra, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Eric Dolphy, plus a couple standards and some ultra-oblique originals. Karayorgis’s touch is curiously finicky, the notes registering like tiny flecks, dots and flickers that he marshals into a delicately jumbled two-handed counterpoint. The results are rather like a Ran Blake album that’s been reduced to a heap of pebbles (Karayorgis, like Blake, loves to end pieces with an enigmatic anticlimax). The teasing, elusive nature of the music can sometimes verge on coyness, but there’s no doubt that Karayorgis is a true original. Seventeen Pieces is an album with the devious, glimmering weightlessness of a spider web. (Leo)