The title of Erik Deutsch's Demonio Teclado means "Keyboard Demon"and indeed he is. Raised in Washington, DC and Nashville, Deutsch spent ten years in Colorado honing his craft, receiving a degree from the University of Colorado in piano performance, plus studying and playing with pianist Art Lande
's band. A talented member of the new generation of jazz musicians, Deutsch's star just keeps shining brighter with each project.
Deutsch characterizes the music on Demonio Teclado as psychedelic soul-jazz, and the description is apt: the songs are full of absorbing grooves overlaid with appealing electronic voicings. Seven of the nine songs are Deutsch originals, and the keyboardist proves himself an inventive composer with a fine ear for melody. "Funky Digits" is an exuberant tune with a tight, energetic arrangement, including a down-and-dirty solo from trumpeter Jon Gray, who provides a hefty dose of soul throughout the CD. "Future Burger" has a joyful, super-funky groove that showcases the talents of guitarist Brandon Seabrook
, while "DDT" is a full-bodied song with a deep droning groove, woven throughout with wild and woolly electronic excursions.
Deutsch takes it slower on the enjoyably ominous "Creeper," and displays a more romantic side on the wistful "Ms. Pelican" and beautifully spacious "Lover's Eyes." For his two covers, Deutsch takes a pass on the Great American Songbook: Ike Turner
declared, "Young players need not feel confined by conventional soundsnor do they need to abandon them entirely: the scope for creative merging is enormous, and new and different dimensions to music beckon." Deutsch has clearly heeded this call, and his psychedelic soul-jazz is a welcome expansion. Yet this is just one color on Deutsch's extensive palette: with such striking talent and wide-ranging experience, his next step is bound to be worth hearing.
Track Listing: Getting Nasty; Funky Digits; Creeper; DDT; Sleep Talkin’; Don’t Let It Bring You Down; Lover’s Eyes, Future Burger; Ms. Pelican.
Personnel: Erik Deutsch: keys; Tony Mason: drums; Glenn Taylor: steel guitar; Brandon Seabrook: guitar; Jon Gray: trumpet; Ben Rubin: bass (3-5, 6, 8); Jeff Hill: bass (1, 2, 7, 9); Jens: tambourine (1).