5

Beka Gochiashvili: Beka Gochiashvili

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Beka Gochiashvili: Beka Gochiashvili 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, guitar sensation Julian Lage and pianist Eldar Djangirov were playing at an über-proficient level as children and each brought something unique to this art form; pianist Beka Gochiashvili can now be added to this list.

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 and bassist Victor Bailey 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 ("Un Gran Abrazo") and White's nod to his Return to Forever 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, and "Exit To The West" transitions from a chops-driven tornado into an odd-metered fusion burner.

The heavy hitters on board for the journey, like trumpeter Wallace Roney and bassists Stanley Clarke, John Patitucci and Ben Williams, deliver on their big-name promise, but Gochiashvili and guitarist Tom Guarna really define the sound of the record. Gochiashvili creates the context and Guarna alternately acts as his foil or fall-in-line colleague, depending on the circumstances at hand.

Clarke's claim that this is "the best debut of a young musician since Tony Williams with Miles Davis" may be a bit over the top, but Beka Gochiashvili is certainly one hell of a talent. The future looks bright as can be for this piano wunderkind.

Track Listing: Un Gran Abrazo; For Keith; New York; Song To Niniko; Chicknstan; Herio Bichebo; Coco; Passionately In Love; Made Of Tenderness; L's Bop; When Almonds Blossomed; Exit To The West.

Personnel: Beka Gochiashvili: piano, Fender rhodes; Natalia Kutateladze: vocals; Stanley Clarke: acoustic bass; John Patitucci: acoustic bass; Victor Bailey: acoustic bass, electric bass; Ben Williams: acoustic bass; Lenny White: drums; Richie Barshay: drums; Tom Guarna: acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Wallace Roney: trumpet; Jaleel Shaw: alto saxophone; Ben Solomon: tenor saxophone.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Exitus Entertainment | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Inerrant Space" CD/LP/Track Review Inerrant Space
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Glitter" CD/LP/Track Review Glitter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!