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
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
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
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