181

Eldar Djangirov: Three Stories

Matt Marshall By

Sign in to view read count
Eldar Djangirov: Three Stories Since emerging on the worldwide jazz scene in 2004, pianist Eldar Djangirov has been touted for the classical skill he brings to standard jazz and original material alike. With Three Stories, Eldar attacks the classical repertoire itself, mixing a pair of Bach pieces, and one from Alexander Scriabin, with standards by the likes of Sammy Cahn, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and George Gershwin, plus a few originals. The three stories—classical, standards (or popular music—he also covers a Dave Matthews tune) and originals—are told with a consistent voice that serves to twine and intermix the narratives not unlike Claude Simon's fiction. By the time the penultimate "Rhapsody in Blue" rolls around, the inventive mix in Gershwin's jazz concerto can be heard anew.

The album is Eldar's first solo piano recording—and first, incidentally, to feature his full name on the cover (whether this signals an attempt to move away from the one-name moniker he has favored heretofore is unclear). He opens, appropriately enough, with a full minute's worth of classical flourishes, before advancing the melody of "I Should Care" in any sustained manner. But even then, the linear course is brief. The tune having been established, Eldar is off to the races, but it's a neck-and-neck gallop between classical and ragtime motifs. And a brief pause is all that separates this standard of popular music and Bach's "Prelude in C# Major"—the exuberant runs that course Bach's piece stemming, seemingly, from Cahn's to bore into the German heart and emerge not much later as the dust from Tchaikovsky's "Sugar Plum Fairy" sprinkling over Van Heusen's "Darn That Dream." The high-end, raspy plunkings that form the sleepy melody of "Dream" constitute, perhaps, the album's most inspired crossing of musical tracks.

Other highlights include a take on Monk's classic celebratory piece, "In Walked Bud," here rendered with a deep undercurrent of pain, an abiding melancholy (if yet shy of all-out misery), stabbing dully but consistently at the daily effort of coming and going—of sitting, of waiting, of walking in—even as the motion surges inevitably ahead. Gershwin's "Embraceable You" is achingly beautiful, romantic and maybe too sweetly sentimental for some—the crush of heavily scented roses—but the piece never lacks for intelligence. And when Eldar reaches the "Rhapsody" apex, the entire weave of musical stories comes to seem an undressing of Gershwin's mind, his brain rattling the "musical kaleidoscope of America" on a train ride to Boston. Tchaikovsky and Scriabin are dead. Stravinsky's in flower. And the tracks race into America for all the wild vagabonds to jump onboard. Eldar stitches his one-man concerto with improvised "orchestral" fills, allowing the glimpse of a time, not far off, when the soloist will rage over the stateliness of symphonies— ragtime-infused or not. It hardly seems an accident that the pianist closes his album with a Charlie Parker tune.


Track Listing: I Should Care; Prelude in C# Major; Darn That Dream; Windows; Etude Op. 2 No. 1; In Walked Bud; Three Stories; So Damn Lucky; Embraceable You; Russian Lullaby; Air on a G String; Impromptu; Rhapsody in Blue; Donna Lee.

Personnel: Eldar Djangirov, piano.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Sony Masterworks | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Velcro Bird" CD/LP/Track Review Velcro Bird
by John Eyles
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Floa" CD/LP/Track Review Floa
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!