When listening to Seattle pianist Eric Vaughn, you begin to think there is something familiar about his approach. Then you realize the depth of his knowledge of the greats from Art Tatum to Herbie Hancock. Vaughn has an impressive biography including performances with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, and Santana, among others.
Vaughn's recent CD, The Chaotic World We Live In, is a telling journey of his expertise. The first track, "Very Early", is as calm as the first cup of coffee on a Saturday morning, but the fury that Vaughn later unleashes on "The Chaotic World We Live In" verges on disturbing. "Ms. KP" is an angular game of cat and mouse. His powerful left hand is prominent throughout the CD, and while constantly searching, his lines show direction with fascinating technique. The entire CD features Vaughn's solo piano work with an occasional appearance of his melodica. As a soloist, he is defined as a free or avante-garde pianist, but Vaughn's music is laced with the influence of many predecessors. He dances across the keyboard with the lightest touch, then explodes with pounding madness with equal skill. His array of emotions is the quality that keeps you listening, becoming more involved in Vaughn's chaotic search. Highly recommended.