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Erik Sondhy: Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1

Dan McClenaghan By

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Joey Alexander, the young piano phenom from Bali, has caused quite a splash in the jazz world, a player who is ridiculously talented for one so young. But there's another masterly young piano guy from the Indonesian island: Erik Sondhy.

The sessions resulting in Sondhy's debut, Recorded At Abbey Road, Vol. 1, also known as Abbey Road Sessions, Vol. 1, came about on Sondhy's trip to visit his wife's family, where he was able to seize the opportunity lay down six tracks in the same place the Beatles recorded much their music, Abbey Road Studio. Sondhy is, in fact, a Beatles fanatic, and the studio inspired in him a performance fervor, beginning with "London Blues." The tune—indeed, the entire set—is solo piano, much of it composed on the fly, in-the-moment, a la Keith Jarrett. This opener rumbles along on a foundation of American stride piano, with a strong, percussive right hand laying down the rhythm, the right hand working the a robust melody. Visiting the musical artistry of his heros, Sondhy slips deep into the Lennon/McCartney jewel, "I Will," slowing the tune down and re-harmonizing, making it sound less optimistic about the acceptance of the romantic entreaties.

"Song For My Mother" is an inward, classical-sounding beauty; "Sofia's Rag" knocks on Fats Waller's ragtime door, full of jaunty confidence. "Hope" moves the mood into darker, introspective territory, and "Calypso," and "Echo Beach Calypso" turns that dark mood of "Hope"around a hundred and eighty degrees, with a driving, Keith Jarrett-like high-speed rail train of a tune.

An intriguing and auspicious debut.

Track Listing: London Blues; I Will; Song For My Mother; Sofia's Rag; Hope; Echo Beach Calypso.

Personnel: Erik Sondhy: piano

Title: Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Indojazziamusik

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