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Eldar by Eldar

Now at age of 18 Eldar has been turning heads in the world of jazz for some time now. He has impressed jazz greats such as Benny Carter and Dr. Billy Taylor and was asked by Wynton Marsalis to perform at the Lincoln Center in 2004. Born in the former Soviet Union, Eldar Djangirov began playing piano at age 5 and has been seen performing on the 42nd annual Grammy Awards to Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz show (the youngest ever). His self titled debut for Sony Classical is a wonderful way to introduce this young pianist to the jazz world.

Along with Todd Strait on drums and the wonderful John Patitucci on bass, Eldar’s trio rips new life into eight jazz classics and performs four of his own originals, including one with tenor saxophone great Michael Brecker.

Each track shows Eldar has done his homework and has worked both his right and left hand to perfection. On Sweet Georgia Brown Eldar displays a hard driving aggressiveness similar to Art Tatum or Oscar Peterson. Then he turns to a more sensitive Bill Evans'ish approach on Nature Boy. Eldar displays a great deal of chops as the trio works through an up latin version of Herbie’s Maiden Voyage. Eldar’s real sensitive side is shown in his original compositions. Raindrops and Lady Wicks are two beautiful original tunes that let Eldar and the trio fully explore the emotional values of his music. Michael Brecker joins the trio on Point of View, another enjoyable original reminiscent of Chick Corea and early Brecker works. Eldar even funks it up on his original Watermelon Island (I wonder who he was inspired by here).

Look for Eldar to be out in stores March 8th. He is definitely a young artist to keep a close eye on. He still has room to grow though. Like many young prodigy’s Eldar can at times overplay and almost making you feel like he is screaming his ideas at you. But I have no doubt he will continue to aspire to jazz greatness in the long years to come and it will be fun to hear what he creates as he does it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Eldar
  • CD Title: Eldar
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Sony
  • Tracks: Sweet Georgia Brown, Nature Boy, Moanin’, Point Of View*, Raindrops, Lady Wicks, Maiden Voyage, ‘Round Midnight, Ask Me Now, Watermelon Island, Fly Me To The Moon
  • Musicians: Eldar (piano, synthesizers), Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone)*, John Patitucci (bass), Todd Strait (drums, percussion)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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