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Ethan Iverson: Technically Acceptable

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Ethan Iverson: Technically Acceptable
The funhouse genius of pianist Ethan Iverson hits full nor'easter with Technically Accepted, an album so loaded with invention and cool it rises instantly to the pack of hands-down favorites for the still unformed year of 2024.

Unbounded, Iverson's many quirks and instigations hurl madly around the house, the studio, the bodega down the street and it is up to the rest of us to keep up. That includes his two simpatico rhythm sections: bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Kush Abadey holding the fort on tracks one through seven, and bassist Simón Willson and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza on "The Feeling Is Mutual" and a hypnotically tender rendering of "Killing Me Softly With His Song."

Technically Accepted is Iverson's second album for Blue Note and boasts the first theremin performance and piano sonata that the label has ever released. From the racing fanfare of "Conundrum," the jumpy, Kansas City shaded "Victory Is Assured (Alla Breve)," the Picasso drawn title arabesque, and the funky lope of the marvelously twisted "It's Fine To Decline," Iverson comes at the listener with everything he has got and then some.

What is most astonishing about Technically Accepted as a whole is that it comes at you fast. Real fast. With one exception, the six minute, broad shouldered "Piano Sonata: Allegro Moderato," all these exquisite exhibits of human grandness barely touch the four-and-a-half minute mark. It is really a feat of concise and avid discourse.

The album concludes with that previously mentioned piano sonata wherein Iverson thinks it all through as he goes, all the glorious while conjuring a wholesome and spirited mix of harmonics and hijinks ala Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and the Harlem stride of James P. Johnson. It is joyous and it is fun and it is exactly what we need in these funless and joyless times.

Track Listing

Conundrum; Victory is Assured (Alla Breve); Technically Acceptable; Who Are You, Really?; The Chicago Style;I t’s Fine to Decline; The Way Things Are; Killing Me Softly With His Song; ‘Round Midnight; The Feeling is Mutual; Piano Sonata: Allegro Moderato; Piano Sonata: Andante; Piano Sonata: Rondo.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Rob Schwimmer: theramin #9.

Album information

Title: Technically Acceptable | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


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