Brian Agro is a Canadian-born pianist/composer who, like Gunther Schuller, William Russo and Anthony Davis, straddles the sometimes-overlapping worlds of jazz and contemporary notated (i.e., "classical") composition. Poems and Preludes is a collection of Agro’s pieces for piano, played here by Swiss pianist Tomas Bachli. Those who know the Percaso label for documenting the European avant/free jazz scene (the fine trio Day & Taxi, for one) may be a tad surprised by the "accessibility" of the music here. But hopefully not dismayed, for P & P is a fine, charming collection of miniatures for piano. They share qualities of some pianists’ legendary works for ECM Records in the early 70s: the unsentimental spaciousness of Paul Bley, the mix of folk simplicity and gentle urbanity of Dollar Brand/Abdullah Ibrahim and the romantic, rhapsodic nature of Keith Jarrett, while influences outside of jazz would include the piano music of Maurice Ravel (impressionist) and Phillip Glass (minimalist). And of course, the shadow of The Duke falls across the key now ‘n’ again. Yet all these sounds are not present as mere pastiche but are fully assimilated into Agro’s compositional approach. This music - extremely lyrical while avoiding sappiness, direct, reflective but never self-absorbed - seems "familiar" while also seeming like it belongs to no particular time or place at all.