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Lafayette Gilchrist: Dark Matter

Read "Dark Matter" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Recorded live, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist's second solo recording, Dark Matter, embraces the long history of jazz bound to the beat and textures of a specific time and place, rather than stylistic pedigree or lineage of influencers. Its rhythms are the jackhammer throb, subway rattle, and relentless pulse of Baltimore, Philly, and Washington, D.C. It's textures the rust laden steel, aged brick, languid nights, and hardened density of these original East Coast cities; our remnants of the railroad era, bastions of ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin'

Read "Soul Progressin'" reviewed by Jay Deshpande

On Soul Progressin', Lafayette Gilchrist mixes a funky sensibility with, above all else, a sense of play. The album showcases the young pianist's compositions in a no-holds-barred, gutsy display of honest sound. Throughout, Gilchrist is supported by the strong horn section (two trumpets, three saxophones) that defines his band, the New Volcanoes. Gilchrist presents a range of compositions on the album, but all of them straddle a line between genres while maintaining a genuinely personal, distinct feel. ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: 3

Read "3" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

3 is Gilchrist's third album and his first trio release. He composed, arranged and throws every throbbing note down in the company of his Baltimore homeboys “Blue" Jenkins on bass and Nate Reynolds on drums. “The sound I was hearing in my head is coming from when I first heard Money Jungle," Gilchrist explains. “It's a trio record with Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. To me, it sounds like an orchestra being played by a trio. I was ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin' & Live in Berlin

Read "Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin' & Live in Berlin" reviewed by Brandt Reiter

Lafayette Gilchrist Soul Progressin' Hyena 2008 David Murray Live in Berlin Jazzwerkstatt 2008

I first heard pianist Lafayette Gilchrist in 2003, playing a one-night-stand duo gig with reed colossus David Murray. Gilchrist honed his chops in Baltimore and DC and worked under the national radar until Murray took him under his ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin'

Read "Soul Progressin'" reviewed by Troy Collins

Baltimore-based pianist Lafayette Gilchrist stripped away the five-piece horn section of his octet, The New Volcanoes, fron his previous session, Third (Hyena Records, 2007), for an intimate trio exploration of hard- hitting funk. Soul Progressin' is the third album in his discography to feature the massed horns of The New Volcanoes, following in the footsteps of The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist (Hyena, 2004), and Towards The Shining Path (Hyena, 2005).

Gilchrist draws from local Washington D.C.-based go-go, ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin'

Read "Soul Progressin'" reviewed by Chris May

Baltimore pianist Lafayette Gilchrist has a style which satisfyingly combines two very different aesthetics: the funky and the sophisticated. He's been compared to keyboardists and composers Andrew Hill and Sun Ra, but his approach is more closely rooted in bassist Charles Mingus' work as a leader. Where Mingus' rhythmic and emotional foundation for composition and arrangement borrowed from gospel and the blues, Gilchrist's draws from those music's more recent offspring: hip hop, Washington go-go and funk. Like Mingus, Gilchrist layers ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Three

Read "Three" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Grounded in Baltimore's blue collar defiance and port city ruggedness, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist's style is fully his own, deliberately iconoclastic and aggressively blunt. And his third outing--aptly titled Three--remains firm in its dedication to this rough hewn tone, even as it translates the big, horn driven sound of his first two recordings to the trio format. Self-taught on the piano and an accomplished jazz autodidact, Gilchrest steadfastly refuses to overtly reveal his extensive knowledge of jazz history ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Three

Read "Three" reviewed by Troy Collins

Three is Baltimore-based pianist Lafayette Gilchrist's first trio recording. Typically playing in larger configurations, Gilchrist is the leader of a seven-piece funk band, the New Volcanoes, and primary pianist for tenor saxophonist David Murray's numerous ensembles for the past few years. This stripped-down session is his most revealing record.

The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist (Hyena, 2004), and Towards The Shining Path (Hyena, 2005), both featured the propulsive horn section of the New Volcanoes. Accompanied by his regular ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Towards The Shining Path

Read "Towards The Shining Path" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Lafayette Gilchrist is not the next Thelonious Monk. No one could be. But for a cat making just his second album as a leader, this composer/pianist, who also serves in David Murray's quartet and nonet, does suggest some pretty incredible parallels with the unique genius of “the only-est Monk.

For starters, Gilchrist rocks that 4/4 beat harder and funkier than just about any other pianist in memory. He plays as if rubber banded to the downbeat, and ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Towards the Shining Path

Read "Towards the Shining Path" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

A captivating live performer, Lafayette Gilchrist has once again translated his distinctive blend of drama, brooding force, and hard-hitting beats into a successful, high-energy, engaging album. The music on Towards the Shining Path, the pianist's ambitious followup to his acclaimed debut album, The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist, moves like a boxer: methodical, rocking steadily in its deep grooves, yet ready to burst into unpredictable explosions of controlled power and precisely orchestrated fury. Towards the Shining Path ...

LIVE REVIEWS

New Grooves: Lafayette Gilchrist at Bohemian Caverns

Read "New Grooves: Lafayette Gilchrist at Bohemian Caverns" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

The darkly lit, basement club Bohemian Caverns just might be the perfect venue for Baltimore raised pianist Lafayette Gilchrist. Both the club's owner and pianist draw on the past glories of Baltimore and Washington's jazz scene, and neither feels any compunction about presenting that history in a totally modernized context. For the club, this means Belgian beer, a mixed menu of classic American fare and Persian cuisine, a music line-up that includes jazz, funk, hip-hop and electronica, and a decor ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist

Read "The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Deep, brooding grooves, gravelly bass, taut piano lines that stride forward with lithe, contained energy... the music on The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist feels as if it is about to explode, held in check only by the tight grasp of strict discipline. This tension between barely checked frenzy and control not only seeps into each piece, but defines much of the album's distinctive character, as the music stalks panther-like through the dark tunnels of each composition's ...