13

Beka Gochiashvili: Beka Gochiashvili

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
An amazingly talented prodigy from Tbilisi, Georgia, sixteen year-old Beka Gochiashvili is nothing short of extraordinary, emerging as the latest piano virtuoso to hit the jazz circuit with an impressive self-titled debut sure to turn some heads and garnish well-deserved attention. Keyboardist Chick Corea's influence permeates the album, beginning with performances from Return to Forever band mates, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. It was White who came across this young man, who he found to be musically mature beyond his years, later describing the pianist as an "old soul in a very young body."

However, the young pianist was already well-versed in Corea's music, having first heard of the icon when he was six and receiving an email from the artist that concluded with "Bye Beka, Un Gran Abrazo." Gochiashvili composed the opening "Un Gran Abrazo" in dedication to Corea; not only a phenomenal pianist but a gifted composer, Gochiashvili penned seven originals for this first recording, and borrows the somber "Heiro Bichebo," featuring vocalist Natalia Kutateladze, along with "When Almonds Blossomed," from renowned Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, as well as including White's "Chicknstan" to round out the set.

An "A list" of players graces the record, amongst them guitarist Tom Guarna, bassists Victor Bailey and John Patitucci, trumpeter Wallace Roney, and saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Ben Solomon. The music is first-rate with no mediocre pieces; in fact, every track can be considered a keeper for airplay purposes. Having first heard the music of Keith Jarrett (his other musical father along with Corea) at the ripe old age of four, the pianist dedicates the buoyant "For Keith," demonstrating his more than appreciable chops.

Three more dedications of note include the poignant "Made of Tenderness," for his mother; the gorgeous ballad "Song to Niniko" and brisk, samba-flavored "Passionately In Love," both dedicated to his girlfriend. Joining Guarna and bassist Ben Williams in a tight trio performance, the group harkens back to the retro feel of the past with the swinging "Coco." The other sizzler is the hard-driving "L's Bop" featuring more quick, right-hand key play from the young leader.

Gochiashvili closes the album on Fender Rhodes, in a departure from the repertoire with the modern/fusion-like "Exit to the West" demonstrating the pianist's versatility and depth musical talent. At the tender age of sixteen, Beka Gochiashvili may have a journey to go before achieving stardom in the music world, but with the launch of this audacious beginning, this extraordinary pianist seems to be well on his way. This highly accessible debut unleashes the raw energy and talents of a pianist whose creative juices have only just begun to percolate.

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.

Title: Beka Gochiashvili | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Exitus Entertainment


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Rekihndled" CD/LP/Track Review Rekihndled
by Doug Collette
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Asian Fields Variations" CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Easy Living" CD/LP/Track Review Easy Living
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.