New York based pianist Geo Progulakis is definitely a talent to look out for. Having graduated from the New School and studied with greats like Kevin Hays and Aaron Goldberg, he is now an active performer in New York's thriving music scene.
Progulakis released his debut album Good Start with his trio- consisting of himself, bassist Luca Rosenfeld and drummer Zan Tetickovic- in 2014. The record explores many themes and shines a light on his compositional prowess, featuring nine original compositions. Some of the titles, like "Bla Bla" and "Microwaved Salad," are playful and humorous, but the playing here is serious business.
The rhythm section can use varied textures to set up a colorful backdrop for a thoughtful melody, as they do in the introduction to the opener, "Flicker," or they can be a powerful, driving force as they are in "Arica," laying down a solid groove while responding to Progulakis' solo with lines and rhythms that could only have come from their acute listening and collective chemistry. Progulakis' introspective playing style often seems to shine in thoughtful ballads, "Vino Veritas" being a good example. However, his thoughtful approach to improvisation lends excitement to each of his solos; phrases often reference the theme but also vary from it in unexpected and exciting ways.
Fans of piano will be very happy with this release, which covers many styles of music from straight ahead swing to straight-eighth grooves with equal parts ease and audacity. This debut record is certainly a very "good start" to a promising career.
Flicker; Good Start; Bla Bla; 26 Hope; Letter To My Dad; Arica; Unstable
Balance; Vino Veritas; Microwaved Salad
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