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Cyrus Chestnut, Reginald Chapman and More

Read "Cyrus Chestnut, Reginald Chapman and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we open with the music of veteran jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut and a cut off his latest CD Kaleidoscope. We explore the jazz goods of Bunky Green and the great Reginald Chapman. In honor of the holiday season of 2018, we include several festive tunes to keep everything real and moving in the right direction with the music of Kansas City singer Tavis Minner, Adam Birnbaum and Lionel Loueke, before rounding things off with a bit of a ...

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Cyrus Chestnut Trio at Duc des Lombards

Read "Cyrus Chestnut Trio at Duc des Lombards" reviewed by Patricia Myers

Cyrus Chestnut Trio Duc des Lombards Nous N'Irons Pas a New York Festival Paris, France August 2, 2016 Pianist Cyrus Chestnut dazzled a rapt audience during the opening concert of his two nights at the sixth annual Nous N'Irons Pas a New York (We're Not Going to New York) festival that presents American stars. From the first to the final note, he was a man of few words and of much melodic magic.

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Cyrus Chestnut Trio + Stefon Harris: Tempe, AZ, May 31, 2013

Read "Cyrus Chestnut Trio + Stefon Harris: Tempe, AZ, May 31, 2013" reviewed by Patricia Myers

Cyrus Chestnut Trio and Stefon HarrisTempe Center for the ArtsTempe, AZMay 31, 2013Pianist Cyrus Chestnut has perfected the art of musical surprise, creating dialogues between his own hands as well as with his colleagues. He launched his Tempe, Arizona concert by stating, “We like to play the notes we've never played before." He most assuredly did that for a full two hours, supported by bassist Eric Wheeler and 19-year-old drummer Evan Sherman, soon joined by ...

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Cyrus Chestnut Trio: Journeys

Read "Journeys" reviewed by Larry Taylor

During a career spanning 20 years, Cyrus Chestnut has risen to be one of the most esteemed and productive of jazz pianists. Journeys makes 16 recordings under his name. He regularly performs with his trio and is the go-to guy on numerous recording dates and gigs. Having apprenticed with the incomparable vocalist Betty Carter, Chestnut's playing displays a style and technical virtuosity that has him compared to jazz legends from Jelly Roll Morton and Oscar Peterson to ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: Spirit

Read "Spirit" reviewed by Larry Taylor

Cyrus Chestnut was born into the church; his father was a church organist and his mother directed the choir. On this artist's fine solo piano CD, Spirit, he returns to his roots with a selection of gospel songs augmented by a couple of inspirational popular songs from the 1970s. They are played with church-like fervor and a jazz sensibility, and make for a thoroughly enjoyable, uplifting experience.

The first track, “Oh How I Love Jesus," captures the believer's steadfast dedication, ...

INTERVIEWS

Cyrus Chesnut: Expounding on Elvis

Read "Cyrus Chesnut: Expounding on Elvis" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

When the bespectacled man with the boyish round face sits down at the grand piano to play these days, listeners can still expect to hear the rich tone, jazz inflected with not only the influences of Fats Waller or McCoy Tyner, but also with a soulful element that comes from church roots. But some of the tunes that float through the room may harken back to another part of the listener's past. The music is jazz, but the familiar memories ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: Cyrus Plays Elvis

Read "Cyrus Plays Elvis" reviewed by J Hunter

"Elvis isn't dead until we say he's dead! That was the defiant proclamation on a billboard advertising a Bay Area Oldies station. An immediate reaction would be: “Which Elvis are we talking about? Fat Elvis? Thin Elvis? Hollywood Elvis? Vegas Elvis? With Cyrus Plays Elvis, pianist Cyrus Chestnut has added a new category to that list: Jazz Elvis.

The concept isn't all that far-fetched: Presley's early recordings came from the same country-blues space Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash called ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: Cyrus plays Elvis

Read "Cyrus plays Elvis" reviewed by Francis Lo Kee

Certainly a concept designed to push peoples' buttons, the fact is that if you don't know Elvis Presley's music, this CD doesn't sound radically different from a lot of soul jazz recordings from Blue Note in the 1960s. One of the big differences between rock and jazz is harmony: while jazz, partially built on the standards of the Great American Songbook, loves shifting, chromatic voice-leading, rock tends to be harmonically more static, either using other qualities to build and release ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: Genuine Chestnut

Read "Genuine Chestnut" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

One hardly thinks of age six as the start of a career in anything, but that's when pianist Cyrus Chestnut began his. As was the case with many musicians and singers, the church was his first gig. He played at Mount Calvary Baptist in Baltimore, and within three years, he was studying classical music at the Peabody Institute. Over the years, a variety of training and experiences led him to jazz. He worked alongside some modern jazz heavyweights like Terence ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: Genuine Chestnut

Read "Genuine Chestnut" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Cyrus Chestnut has always brought a palpable sense of joy to his music-making. Since gaining notoriety with the young lions of the '80s, his gospel-rooted approach has earned him a reputation as one of the most reliably versatile pianists on the mainstream scene. Genuine Chestnut is a mixed bag, though. While there's plenty of fine playing here from the 42-year-old leader and his trio, along with guests Steve Kroon (percussion) and Russell Malone (guitar), the music only ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: You Are My Sunshine

Read "You Are My Sunshine" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Tough times make simple music cathartic, and Cyrus Chestnut’s You Are My Sunshine combines tradition with innovation to attractively articulate this 70-minute collection of modern jazz trio music. Chestnut clearly doesn’t expect this record to change your life, but it does successfully brighten our mood.

The record’s opening, “God Smiled On Me,” clearly establishes the comfort of acoustic subtlety within a groove that nicely unites Chestnut with band mates Michael Hawkins on bass and Neal Smith on drums. The pianist ...

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Cyrus Chestnut: Soul Food

Read "Soul Food" reviewed by Craig W. Hurst

Cyrus Chestnut’s latest Atlantic release Soul Food provides a veritable smorgasbord of musical delicacies. Combining original and classic material, Chestnut and his band mates deliver a complete and balanced diet of delectable bites of sound performed at an epicurean level of artistry that would satisfy any jazz gourmet.

Joining Chestnut on Soul Food are bassist Christian McBride, Lewis Nash on drums, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup on trumpet, saxophonists James Carter and Gary Bartz and Stefon Harris on marimba and ...