Eldar Djangirov Trio
Rating: 4½/5 Once in a blue moon, a young talent comes along who simply knocks you off your feet. Such is the case with Eldar Djangirov, a pianist who straddles the two different worlds of classical and jazz.
This year alone, he has released two albums, one in each genre: a recital of Bach/Brahms/ Prokofiev and an outing with his jazz trio, Breakthrough.
The latter, with Armando Gola (bass) and Ludwig Alfonso (drums), is a stupendous effort. Listen to the self-composed opening track, Point Of View Redux, or the high-adrenaline title track (with guest saxophonist Chris Potter), and you will be left with no doubt of his technical powers or expressive depth.
What makes these performances thrilling, even more than the virtuosity, is the palpable joy of improvisation. Djangirov's style assimilates many masters of the jazz keyboard: McCoy Tyner's muscularity, Teddy Wilson's elegance, Chick Corea's enthusiasm.
On Irving Berlin's What I Do, the pianist demonstrates his musical intelligence. The melody is outlined with the lightest of touches. But just as it is about to conclude, a swelling romantic cadenza carries the ballad to a surprising yet emotionally satisfying resolution.
Eldar Djangirov - still only 26 years old and already a name to look out for.
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