Huffington Post, October 2, 2015
"Mr. Cain’s latest offering the celestial sounds of Sola...captivates the listener with deep grooves, inherent musicality and a palpable sense of equanimity ." An accomplished pianist, Mr. Cain’s most recent work has had a distinctively electronic bent to it with colors and textures that seem to borrow from elements of jazz, hip hop and Electronic Dance Music."
Something Else Reviews, November 16, 2015
"With an imaginative mind and worldly experience, fresh and appealing ideas can still be mined within the realm of fusion jazz. Michael Cain’s Sola attests mightily to that notion."
New York Times, July 21, 2011
“Michael Cain is an almost maniacally versatile pianist (and bassist and programmer) whose music often conveys a questing sensibility.”
JazzTimes, June 20, 2012
Pianist Michael Cain gained recognition through the ’90s for his association with Jack DeJohnette. On his own, he has produced a string of thoughtful, provocative releases, including his acclaimed 1997 ECM recording, Circa. On 2008’s The Green-Eyed Keeper, Cain dabbled in a fresh blend of jazz, R&B and alluring mood music featuring soulful vocals. This time out, he’s presenting a far more cerebral side, revealing his classical influences along with a deep interest in electronics.
“Kammotion” opens with a flourish of cascading piano that recalls one of Keith Jarrett’s solo concerts, but it soon resolves to an insistent programmed backbeat underscored by subharmonic synth tones and augmented by synth string washes that suggest a heavy Stevie Wonder influence. The midpoint of this ever-shifting suite is marked by Zen-like silence before Cain takes off on what sounds like a four-handed extravaganza, no doubt overdubbed. And he concludes this ambitious musical journey with some rhapsodic passages over a chugging drum program.
The aptly titled “Prayer” is a peaceful requiem for piano and synth drones with a cathedral-like sonic resonance. Switching gears, Cain dives back into the Stevie zone with the slow-grooving, clavinet-fueled “Gerald,” which features some of his most virtuosic turns on piano. Following the beautiful solo piano interlude “The Question,” he settles into the lovely “Last Waltz,” a delicate, subtly swinging piano trio ballad reminiscent of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” But, of course, this is strictly a one-man show with all the music composed, performed and produced by Michael Cain. So that very real-sounding upright bass and sensitive brushwork on the ride cymbal are programmed. Regardless of how it was done, this is warm, rewarding music by an inspired, searching artist.
Downbeat, April 1997
If you’ve got to conform to get ahead in today’s jazz scene, somebody forgot to tell Michael Cain. Despite his unusual background and rarified tastes, the pianist has enjoyed surprising success –largely on his own terms—since coming to New York in 1990.
All About Jazz, November 3, 2011
Michael Cain’s Solo, a savvy work of acoustic piano with electronic manipulations, the outcome is—to coin a very dated phrase—in Technicolor. It is the impeccable balance of imagination, elegance and hipness.