4

Alexander Baboian: Alex Baboian - Piano Bench

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Alexander Baboian: Alex Baboian - Piano Bench Jazz trio treatment of classical music is nothing new. French pianist Jacques Loussier has been doing it for 30 years with releases like Bach: The Brandenburgs (Telarc, 2006) and Mozart Piano Concertos 20/23 (Telarc, 2006), among many others. So, Alex Baboian's Piano Bench might not appear as novel as it is. But it is unique in that guitarist Baboian arranges late-Romantic piano compositions for the jazz guitar trio.

No Bach, no Mozart, no Beethoven, all are too early for Baboian's forward thinking. Give him Satie, Ravel, Bartok and Scriabin any day. With devilish alchemy and finely honed iron, Baboian modulates his classical treatments through mood and darkness on Satie's "Trois gnossiennes: No. 1," a piece likely recognisable to all listeners. Deep reverb and round tones add to the crepuscular air of the piece. Baboian captures the same drift on Satie's "Trois Gymnopedies: No. 1," spatial and dreamy.

But the guitarist does not always play nice. On Paul Hindemith's "Second Piano Sonata Movement I: Massig Schnell" Baboian hits the overdrive, blowing dust everywhere. The trio cooperates well on this craggy piece, never letting it spin out of control. Spin out of control? No, that is what happens Alexei Stanchinsky's "12 Sketches." Here, the trio becomes a power trio reminiscent of Billy Cobham's work with Tommy Bolin and the Jonas Hellborg-Shawn Lane collaborations. Piano Bench is a uniformly fine disc with everything to offer in pushing boundaries.

Track Listing: Valses nobles et sentimentales: No. 4 Assez Anime (Maurice Ravel 1875 - 1937); Trois Gnossiennes: No. 1 (Erik Satie 1866 - 1925); Second Piano Sonata Movement I: Massig Schnell (Paul Hindemith 1895 - 1963); Mikrokosmos Vol. 4: No. 97 (Bela Bartok 1881 - 1945); Trois Gymnopedies: No. 1 (Erik Satie 1866 - 1925); 12 Sketches Op. 1: No. 3 (Alexei Stanchinsky 1888 - 1915); Romanian Folk Dances Sz56: No. 4 Mountain Horn Song (Bela Bartok 1881 - 1945); Feuillet d'album Op. 45: No. 1 (Alexander Scriabin 1872 - 1915).

Personnel: Alex Baboian: Guitar; Dylan Coleman: Bass; Marton Juhasz: Drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Troy Collins
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by John Kelman
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Tiptoe" CD/LP/Track Review Tiptoe
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!