Gareth Sager has long been known for producing the unexpected, this his first solo record continues that tradition. Probably most well-known for his work with the experimental Bristol music legends The Pop Group and avant-garde jazz-pop mavericks Rip Rig + Panic, few would have expected such a melodic and beautiful album as 88 Tuned Dreams.
The album consists of 14 solo instrumental piano pieces, all written and played by Sager. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the album is perfectly pitched in the vein of evocative, contemplative pieces that flow with a grace that is a joy to listen to.
The album was recorded in the grand surroundings of Abbey Road in London and it sounds just wonderful. So what of the tunes themselves? Well they are cinematic in style, full of atmosphere and mood. Now some fans of the wilder side of the previous work from Sager may feel a little disappointed, as there is a discipline and control in these pieces that will surprise many long-time fans of his work.
Surely though that is a quality to be applauded. Once again Sager has produced the unexpected, the fact that he has done so by producing music that it is relatively conventional in sound is a great achievement.
This may not be the easiest disc to track down, I suspect it won’t make it into many shops and if it did who knows what section it would be placed in? Classical, Jazz, Pop, well it could be any, all or none of those. The simplest way will be to order from the Environmental Studies label website, that have released the album.