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Geoff Eales | Master of the Game


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1. Iolo’s Dance 6:12
2. Magister Ludi 7:55
3. Awakening 6:09
4. Song for My Mother 7:03
5. The Saddest Journey 7:57
6. Inner Child 6:53
7. Lachrymosa 6:43
8. Sudden Departure 5:55


Master of the Game is a rare kind of album these days. Pianist Geoff Eales’ new record will delight and inspire in equal measure fans of Esbjörn Svensson or Brad Mehldau or those who check for Bill Evans or even Bud Powell. Old virtues and values filtered through a modern sensibility? It doesn’t matter how you put it. What matters is the music and these eight tracks played with passion by Eales and his trio of Chris Laurence and Martin France have a lot to tell you.


‘The ballads are sumptuously couched in lustrous chords and seductive melodic turns, built around the intertwined voicings of piano and bass. And the faster pieces exhibit a surging freshness… sounds here like a master of an old game who is hunting for a new one’. GUARDIAN

‘There are shades of Esbjorn Svensson and Brad Mehldau in the approach to some of these tracks, while others nod to Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett, but Eales is firmly his own man and what emerges over the course of the album is a highly original player who tends to make his point quietly but forcefully’. YORKSHIRE POST

‘A highly distinctive album in an overcrowded field. It deserves to propel Eales into the piano premier league’. JAZZ MANN

‘…the overriding sense on Master of the Game is of a famously `eclectic’ pianist who’s become a master of his influences and begun to speak in a voice that is distinctively and unmistakably his own’. JAZZWISE

‘…this is very much Eales’s album, his compositions ranging easily between an affecting threnody (‘Lachrymosa’) dedicated to Esbjorrn Svensson to anthemic themes in which Laurence complements his power and lucidity perfectly, his playing by turns rumbustious, delicate, playful and grave, as demanded by the various moods of his pieces. Recommended”. VORTEX CD REVIEWS

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