Beka Gochiashvili: Beka Gochiashvili (2012)

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Beka Gochiashvili: Beka Gochiashvili
Those who toil in the jazz trenches often spend a lifetime trying to develop their own sound and acquire a high-level understanding of this music, but a select few seem to be born into the fold. Drumming innovator Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
1945 - 1997
drums
, guitar sensation Julian Lage
Julian Lage
Julian Lage

guitar
and pianist Eldar Djangirov
Eldar Djangirov
Eldar Djangirov
b.1987
piano
were playing at an über-proficient level as children and each brought something unique to this art form; pianist Beka Gochiashvili can now be added to this list.

Gochiashvili, who hails from Tbilisi, Georgia, started playing piano at the ripe old age of three, worked his way through the classics by the time he was eight and was gigging at jazz clubs when he was ten. When Gochiashvili was eleven, he had the opportunity to sit in with drummer Lenny White
Lenny White
Lenny White
b.1949
drums
and bassist Victor Bailey
Victor Bailey
Victor Bailey
b.1960
bass, electric
at Latvia's Saulkrasti Jazz Festival and he managed to turn both of their 'I've-seen-it-all' heads. Now, five years after that encounter, White and Bailey can be heard side-by-side with this prodigious pianist on his first record. This self-titled debut features a cast of giants that most can only dream of playing with, but Gochiashvili doesn't cower in the face of greatness; he seizes the day and delivers a set of winning performances that show he can hold his own with anyone.

Gochiashvili works through post-bop ("New York"), blues ("Coco"), heart-core balladry ("Song To Niniko") and highly manicured, string-enhanced settings with vocals ("Herio Bichebo"), but his best work exists at the crossroads between accessible post-modernism and fusion of the less abrasive variety. His own tribute to Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
("Un Gran Abrazo") and White's nod to his Return to Forever
Return to Forever
Return to Forever

band/orchestra
band mates ("Chicknstan") place Gochiashvili squarely in the Corea camp, stylistically speaking, but that's not the whole story either. "Made Of Tenderness" melts into the calming air, "For Keith" finds the young pianist in fine form as he gives a nod in name, if not sound, to Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
, and "Exit To The West" transitions from a chops-driven tornado into an odd-metered fusion burner.

The heavy hitters on board for the journey, like trumpeter Wallace Roney
Wallace Roney
Wallace Roney
b.1960
trumpet
and bassists Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke
b.1951
bass
, John Patitucci
John Patitucci
John Patitucci
b.1959
bass
and Ben Williams, deliver on their big-name promise, but Gochiashvili and guitarist Tom Guarna
Tom Guarna
Tom Guarna

guitar, electric
really define the sound of the record. Gochiashvili creates the context and Guarna alternately acts as his foil or fall-in-line colleague, depending on the circumstances at hand.

Clarke's claim that this is "the best debut of a young musician since Tony Williams with Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
" may be a bit over the top, but Beka Gochiashvili is certainly one hell of a talent. The future looks bright as can be for this piano wunderkind.

Track Listing: Un Gran Abrazo; For Keith; New York; Song To Niniko; Chicknstan; Herio Bichebo; Coco; Passionately In Love; Made Of Tenderness; L's Bop; When Almonds Blossomed; Exit To The West.

Personnel: Beka Gochiashvili: piano, Fender rhodes; Natalia Kutateladze: vocals; Stanley Clarke: acoustic bass; John Patitucci: acoustic bass; Victor Bailey: acoustic bass, electric bass; Ben Williams: acoustic bass; Lenny White: drums; Richie Barshay: drums; Tom Guarna: acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Wallace Roney: trumpet; Jaleel Shaw: alto saxophone; Ben Solomon: tenor saxophone.

Record Label: Exitus Entertainment

Style: Modern Jazz


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