Tim Friese-Greene 10 Sketches For Piano Trio

Although never officially credited as a member of Talk Talk, Tim Friese-Greene produced, co-wrote and played on the band's last four albums. Since the release of Laughing Stock in 1992, he's spent his time producing the likes of the Catherine Wheel and releasing a handful of records as Heligoland. 10 Sketches For Piano Trio is exactly what it claims. None of the tracks possess an actual title, perhaps due to the fact that there is definitely an element of improvisation that would make it impossible to reproduce accurately. Its briefness, at just 25 minutes, reinforces the idea of these being sketches, feeling like a rehearsal rather than the finished product. Classification-wise, it veers much closer to jazz than any of his previous records but like later Talk Talk albums, it defies easy categorization. It's hard to believe that Friese-Greene played all the instruments, as it has the feel of a live recording, with musicians responding to each other's moves and moods. And for that reason alone 10 Sketches is an impressive piece of work, even if it's one of the less memorable albums that he has been involved with. (LTM)