Some musical rites of passage happen so often they are somewhat universal. Take for example a kid who hears rock music for the first time, becomes interested in playing guitar, and dreams of becoming a professional musician. While many people experience this exact same scenario, few actually see their dream come to fruition. For those who do, their musical journey is probably not quite the way they envisioned it when they first started. This is certainly the case with guitarist Pamai Chirdkiatisak
Chirdkiatisak was born in Bangkok, Thailand, where he developed an interest in guitar at an early age. Once he started listening to classic rock, he immediately wanted to get a guitar and learn how to play rock and roll. However, instead of following the "Stairway to Heaven," his guitar journey eventually led him into jazz. After playing in garage bands and developing his chops, he took his studies to the next level. Once he was accepted into the music program at Mahidol University in Thailand, everything changed. This is where he got introduced to jazz, and that quickly became his primary musical interest.
Chirdkiatisak continued his studies in New York at the Aaron Copland School of Music, where he earned a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies. During his career as a jazz musician, he has received numerous awards in both Thailand and The United States. His debut album, Dreamer
, shows that Chirdkiatisak is an exceptionally talented musician who deserves recognition. Dreamer
features Chirdkiatisak joined by Pawin Limkangwanmongkol
on piano, Siriwat Pliansanthia
on bass, and Chanutr Techatananan
on drums. The group definitely have an exceptional chemistry as players, which translates into the music. This album features a classic straight-ahead jazz quartet sound which deserves multiple listenings.
All of the songs on the album are well-crafted compositions which showcase the interplay between the musicians. From the up-tempo opener, "Vonca Doll," to the closing song "Pray," there is a definite respect for tradition here. The entire album remains true to a somewhat classic jazz sound, and the playing is tight and always in the pocket.
While most of the songs on the album are original compositions, a couple of standards are included as well. The group does an excellent version of Bill Evans' "Waltz For Debby" along with a tasty treatment of "Taking A Chance On Love." Whether they are playing standards or original songs, though, the music on Dreamer
is solid throughout.
Of course, this is Chirdkiatisak's album, after all, and his guitar work is impressive to say the least. He has obviously listened to and studied the great jazz guitarists. He has a nice clean tone and a true feel for the music. Any fan of players such as Jim Hall
, Barney Kessel
, or Tal Farlow
should check out Chirdkiatisak. He is the real deal.
Waltz for Debby;
Taking a Chance on Love;