‘This Too Shall Pass’ – the second single lifted from Laraaji’s forthcoming ‘Sun Piano’ album – effortlessly evokes the tree-lined New York City sidewalks outside the church it was recorded in. An uplifting three and a half minutes of earworm jazz piano, it takes the listener on a mini movie reel through a late Autumn day in the city.
Although entirely improvised, the melodic nous and harmonic skill displayed by Laraaji at the keys utilises a lifetime of experience with the instrument, from playing upright piano in the baptist church as a child, to taking a piano major at the acclaimed Howard University in the 1960s (where his classmates included Donny Hathaway), and going on to play Fender Rhodes electric piano in fusion band Winds Of Change in the early 1970s. Combined with his spiritual sensibilities and ever-present aura of cosmic calm, this is a truly classic piece of Laraaji music.
The video was filmed at the First Unitarian Congregational Society Church in Brooklyn, NY during the ‘Sun Piano’ recording session. Filmmakers Adeline Bailleul and Tarek Bouraque capture Laraaji in solitary communion with the grand piano positioned by the church altar. Although filmed in black and white, the sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows is subtly suggestive of the album title.