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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Breakthrough

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"Point Of View Redux"--the eight-minute-long opener on pianist Eldar Djangirov's Breakthrough--doesn't exactly say it all, but it says a hell of a lot. A firmly delivered flourish flies through the air in the opening seconds, a rollicking riff sets things in motion as titan-like technique powers the warp-speed explorations that follow, things take a bluesy turn for a spell, and Djangirov generates enough energy to power an entire city block along the way. This aptly-titled number serves as a musical manifesto-of-sorts, as Djangirov wears his likes on his sleeve--and in his hands; this album is, indeed, a breakthrough, but not ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Three Stories

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The “child prodigy" tag can be a blessing or a curse. Some people who are labeled in such a manner spend the rest of their lives trying to live up to a reputation that was forced upon them at an early age, while others simply mature and grow into themselves, ultimately capitalizing on the attention they received in their youth. Eldar Djangirov falls into the latter category. While Djangirov--in his early twenties when this album was recorded--can still be considered a talented young pianist, he already has more than a decade of professional experience under his belt, and his music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Three Stories

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Since emerging on the worldwide jazz scene in 2004, pianist Eldar Djangirov has been touted for the classical skill he brings to standard jazz and original material alike. With Three Stories, Eldar attacks the classical repertoire itself, mixing a pair of Bach pieces, and one from Alexander Scriabin, with standards by the likes of Sammy Cahn, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and George Gershwin, plus a few originals. The three stories--classical, standards (or popular music--he also covers a Dave Matthews tune) and originals--are told with a consistent voice that serves to twine and intermix the narratives not unlike Claude Simon's fiction. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Virtue

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Virtue is Eldar's fourth album--his sixth, if his early independent releases are included--something of an achievement for a musician who was only 22 years old at the time of the album's release. The album further affirms the Kyrgyzstan-born, New York-based musician's deserved reputation for technical ability. Across the 11 tracks Eldar shows speed and virtuosity--on one or two ballads there are also welcome signs of a developing awareness of the impact of space and silence. Throughout the album, the young pianist is provided with swinging support from bassist Armando Gola and drummer Ludwig Afonso. Their playing is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Re-Imagination

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Painting scenes from his experience, pianist Eldar Djangirov puts a virtual paintbrush to his third SONY album. Featuring his outstanding keyboard technique and a contemporary look at jazz's thrills, the twenty year-old prodigy delivers with emphasis.His wizardry at the piano becomes immediately apparent with one listen to his interpretation of Oscar Peterson's “Place St. Henri, which is done in an up-tempo trio format along with double bassist Carlos Henriquez and drummer Ali Jackson. Fast and clean, the pianist drives hard with a lightweight demeanor; just the way its composer intended.For the standard “Out of Nowhere, Eldar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Live at the Blue Note

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Intimate and sparkling with effervescent joy, Eldar's appearance at the Blue Note in New York clearly brought a persuasive force to his audience. He's spontaneous and personable for this program of six standards and four originals, steering his acoustic trio through lovely straight-ahead territory with class.Trumpeter Chris Botti guests with the trio on “You Don't Know What Love Is, waxing romantic with a heartfelt reading of this romantic evergreen. He's in top form, giving jazz's mainstream a winning ballad appearance that proves convincing. Botti and Eldar both enjoy an eloquent manner that allows for an intimate musical conversation ...

NOT FOR SALE

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz with Eldar Djangirov, 1st Show

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Fans of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz may have read the program synopsis with reservations when 12 year old Eldar Djangirov made his U.S. broadcast debut on her program a few years ago, but he quickly proved that he deserved the national exposure. A polite young man who was still getting used to living in a new country, Eldar doesn't seem overly infatuated with his budding talent, though he clearly impresses his host with formidable chops for someone so young. He begins with an arrangement of “Emily" that he credits to Marian, though she admits that someone else ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Eldar

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Eldar more than lives up to the hype. If the opening Tatum-esque “Sweet Georgia Brown" doesn't bowl you over with his demonstration of articulate talent, try his head-spinning version of “Maiden Voyage" that makes the original sound absolutely archaic. Don't think this teen is simply some trained freak show. He is able to demonstrate speed with plenty of emotional depth. His incredibly insightful take on “Nature Boy," as well as his own deeply Debussy-influenced “Raindrops," demonstrate maturity far beyond his age.The pianist shows absolutely no signs of intimidation or deferment with his illustrious sidemen: John Patitucci (bass), Michael ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Eldar & Hiromi: Eldar & Brain

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Eldar Eldar Sony Classical 2005

One of the questions provoked by prodigies is whether their music has an emotional resonance informed by life experience. In other words, does the prodigy have something to say yet? Elsewhere in the jazz press, Kyrgyzstan native Eldar Djangirov has already been compared to Art Tatum. The whirlwind of notes unleashed on Eldar, his debut recording on Sony Classical, is far from a case of empty virtuosity, but neither does it convey a wholly original voice. Which is fine, really--Eldar is only 18, after all.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Eldar

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You can't really blame the media for heaping hype upon the young piano prodigy known simply as Eldar, because his story is pretty remarkable. Eldar grew up in remote Kyrgyzstan, where there are far more goat herders than jazz musicians, but he revealed enough early talent that he attracted both local and international attention. After moving to Kansas City around age ten, he picked up a few admirers like Benny Carter and Dr. Billy Taylor, who contributed liner notes to this, his third release and Sony debut. (He also dropped the last name Djangirov, which tagged his previous D&D efforts, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov: Eldar

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He's only eighteen, but he's making quite an impression everywhere he goes and in every corner of the world where his music can be enjoyed. This album, his third, is a straight-ahead collection of favorite songs with several originals. His acoustic trio interprets each of them with sensual passion.Eldar, who has chosen not to use the last name Djangirov, is from Kyrgyzstan. The Sony Classical label has captured his superb grand piano leaps admirably as he improvises at length with great poise. The strength he reveals at the keyboard works both ways: his dynamic range from pianissimo to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov Trio: Handprints

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It was the summer of 1996, and Charles McWhorter, a jazz aficionado from New York, was attending a jazz festival in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia, Russia. He could scarcely believe his eyes: the youngster creating the remarkably sophisticated piano jazz to which he was listening was only nine years old! McWhorter immediately invited Eldar Djangirov (pronounced John-GEAR- off) and his parents to the United States from their home in Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union, and in 1998 they came, settling in Kansas City. Since that time, Eldar has spent four summers at the Interlochen ...



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