Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

297

Eyran Katsenelenbogen: Solotude

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Based on hearing Eyran Katsenelenbogen's new solo record, I have no choice but to say that Art Tatum's spirit inhabits this phenomenal musician. To be able to even remotely compare a pianist to Tatum is saying something, and even if you are familiar with Tatum's playing (say, on Pablo), you might not be prepared for what comes out of your speakers.

Solotude is made up of sixteen standards, including "Solitude"; two of the tracks are live, including a second version of "Do You Love Me" (from Fiddler On The Roof). Among other things, Tatum is famous for recording over 120 tunes in groups of fifteen, each in about an hour. In other words, he just sat down and played, oblivious that the tape was rolling. While these tracks have been collected from sessions spanning three years, one gets the feeling that Katsenelenbogen could also do this feat.

But stamina is hardly the issue. Solotude displays pianism of the highest order, combined with deep musicianship and extremely fast musical reflexes. In the notes to the Pablo solo sessions, Benny Green notes that when Tatum plays something that sounds out of time, it is actually exactly in time, and the same is true here. There seems to be a metronome ticking in Katsenelenbogen's head.

Even putting all of this aside, what Katsenelenbogen says during the actual improvisations makes each track an exciting adventure and the entire disc a fascinating journey. Many of the tracks are under three minutes, which further links him to the past and its attendant recording time limit. He manages to maintain contact with each tune while taking instantaneous flights of fancy (in perfect time), but he never sounds like he is showing off; everything just flows. Like Tatum, his music does not swing in the normal way, and even on something like Paul Desmond's "Take Five," the bass vamp never sounds repetitive. The two Monk tunes, "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "Blue Monk," are all Katsenelenbogen but never lose the Monkishness that make his tunes so instantly recognizable.

The longer tracks, "But Beautiful" (seven minutes) and "You Must Believe In Spring" (ten minutes) never flag and clearly show the pianist's ability to be expansive and still maintain a sense of the whole. These two tracks are full of drama and sweep the listener along.

And yet everything sounds completely improvised on the spot. Of course, Katsnelenbogen has played these tunes for years, but every run, arpeggio and figure that passes through his hands sounds freshly imagined. As if to make this point clear, the record begins and ends with two entirely different versions of "Do You Love Me."

However you experience Solotude, it is an amazing recital.

Track Listing: Do You Love Me?; Stompin' At The Savoy; Solitude; Lady Be Good; Jersey Bounce; Rhythm-A-Ning; Take Five; Armando's Rhumba; Monk; Blue Monk; Four Brothers; But Beautiful; All The Things You Are; The Christmas Song; You Must Believe In Spring; Bouncin' With Bud; Do You Love Me?

Personnel: Eyran Katsenelenbogen: piano.

Title: Solotude | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Eyran Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
88 Fingers

88 Fingers

Eyran Records
2009

buy
Solotude

Solotude

Eyran Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Down a Rabbit Hole CD/LP/Track Review
Down a Rabbit Hole
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Trioliloquy CD/LP/Track Review
Trioliloquy
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Perspectives II CD/LP/Track Review
Perspectives II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Red CD/LP/Track Review
Red
by Nick Catalano
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read "Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics" CD/LP/Track Review Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Tokyo 1975" CD/LP/Track Review Tokyo 1975
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 11, 2018
Read "Spiritual Impressions" CD/LP/Track Review Spiritual Impressions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "The Velvet Rage" CD/LP/Track Review The Velvet Rage
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Espace Cardin 1977" CD/LP/Track Review Espace Cardin 1977
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 12, 2018
Read "There Is A Place" CD/LP/Track Review There Is A Place
by Chris May
Published: November 1, 2018