Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

231

Justin Kauflin: Introducing Justin Kauflin

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Sight and vision are not the same thing, and pianist Justin Kauflin is a testament to this fact. While a rare eye disease robbed Kauflin of his sight by the time he was eleven years old, his artistic vision and sense of purpose remain intact. Kauflin's classical training initially placed him on a certain path, but a detour toward jazz during his high school years, followed by further studies at William Patterson University, where he earned a degree in Music/Jazz Performance and worked with trumpet legend Clark Terry, solidified his intent to pursue a life in jazz.

For his debut date, Kauflin calls on his trio, which consists of one young-old friend with a shared playing history, drummer Billy Williams, and one newer acquaintance that fits comfortably within the musical mold he created, bassist Phil Kuehn. While several tracks also benefit from guest spots, the majority of the program remains a trio outing, and an impressive one at that. Kauflin's crew covers an eclectic array of material, ranging from The Beatles ("A Day In The Life") and Mulgrew Miller ("Return Trip"), tp religious hymns ("Be Thou My Vision" and "Abide With Me") and modern originals, but they manage to make it all fit comfortably within the confines of his aural conception.

The young pianist possesses a touch that can only be characterized as sparkling, and he takes a rhythmic approach to the piano that pushes boundaries, yet remains wholly coherent and accessible at all times. Kauflin nimbly navigates his way through "The Covenant," delivers serpentine lines in unison with guitarist Etan Haziza on "Lucid Thoughts," and uses a straightforward solo piano introduction on "A Day In The Life" as a launching pad for luxuriant explorations with some rhythmic twists thrown into the mix.

Alto saxophonist Tim Green joins the band for "Delfeayo's Dilemma," an '80s classic from Wynton Marsalis' Black Codes From The Underground (Columbia, 1985), and "The Covenant, which both benefit from his energetic performances. In keeping with convention on jazz recordings, Kauflin also throws in the requisite waltz ("Three For Glasper") and goes head-to-head with Williams, as they trade solos on "Return Trip."

These nine tracks are ample proof that Kauflin can cover all his bases, and he's clearly ready for whatever comes next. Like Art Tatum, George Shearing, Ray Charles and Marcus Roberts before him, Kauflin is living, playing proof that talent and drive can still triumph in the face of adversity. Introducing Justin Kauflin announces a major talent, and it will surely be interesting to see where he goes next.

Track Listing: The Covenant; Exodus; Delfeayo's Dilemma; A Day In The Life; Three For Glasper; Return Trip; Be Thou My Vision; Lucid Thoughts; Abide With Me.

Personnel: Justin Kauflin: piano; Billy Williams: drums; Phil Kuehn: bass; Tim Green: alto saxophone (1, 3); Etan Haziza: guitar (8).

Title: Introducing Justin Kauflin | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Prophecy Of Nue" CD/LP/Track Review Prophecy Of Nue
by John Sharpe
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Live! Rancho Nicasio" CD/LP/Track Review Live! Rancho Nicasio
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Faces" CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Prick of the Litter" CD/LP/Track Review Prick of the Litter
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2017