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Rahul Wadhwani Releases Elegant Solo Piano EP ‘A Long Walk Alone’

The dexterous jazz musician takes us through a journey of complex melodies, dynamics and more across two tracks

David Britto Sep 02, 2021

Yavatmal-bred jazz pianist Rahul Wadhwani. Photo: Neil Valles

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Growing up in the town of Yavatmal in Maharashtra, jazz pianist Rahul Wadhwani’s first tryst with music came when his father gifted him a toy keyboard at the age of six. He recalls, “I accidentally played a few notes of a song and instantly fell in love with the instrument.” Wadhwani would be self-taught till he was 18 before moving to various parts of India to learn music formally as well as completing a Jazz Program from the LMS Gaspoltshofen, Wels and Jazz Theory/Ensemble in Vienna, Austria.

Wadhwani moved to Mumbai in 2016 and began performing extensively as a freelance musician alongside artists such as Sanjay Divecha, Shantanu Moitra, Gino Banks, Samantha Edwards, Karl Peters and Mohini Dey, among others. The pianist also plays for Mumbai saxophonist Rhys Sebastian‘s horn outfit Bombay Brass. Wadhwani is even part of a duo project with Austrian jazz trumpet player Manfred Weinberger. With all that experience in his locker, Wadhwani has now released his debut two-track solo piano EP titled A Long Walk Alone.

On how the record shaped up, he says, “Every now and then I have melodies that cross my mind and I generally hum these melodies on my phone recorder before I forget them.” With tons of ideas sitting on his phone, Wadhwani picked the two best ones which eventually became “That Evening” and “In the Desert.” The melody for “That Evening” – of all things – came to Wadhwani while he was sleeping. He says, “I woke up and recorded it on my phone.”

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Across the two songs, there’s a certain sense of honesty that comes with the music. Wadhwani’s deft touch on the piano coupled with his extraordinary intelligence as a musician makes both pieces a delight to hear. There are intricate melodies, shifts in dynamics that keep you engaged and an overall adeptness to the playing. “A composition, for me, is mainly about the melody and how much it resonates with me,” says Wadhwani.

The musician recorded A Long Walk Alone at Mumbai’s Island City Studios with help from sound engineer Hersh Desai. “Hersh had this incredibly sophisticated way of micing the piano and he ended up doing the mix and master too,” says Wadhwani. The musician is now even more eager to continue working on his solo piano project while also collaborating with other artists too. He says, “Next year I plan to go to Austria and record an album with Manfred Weinberger, hoping it’s safer to travel by then.”

Stream ‘A Long Walk Alone’ on Spotify and Apple Music.

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