415

Eli Yamin: You Can't Buy Swing

By

Sign in to view read count
Eli Yamin: You Can't Buy Swing Pianist Eli Yamin is a communicator who believes jazz can foster a sense of community. His work is expansive and extroverted, populist in the best sense. As a teacher—he's now part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's education program—he's created jazz dramas and the dramatic impulse is a strong component of his music. So is swing. This album's title comes from a saying by a drummer who worked often with Yamin, the late Walter Perkins: "You can't buy swing, baby sweets. You can take the biggest name musicians and pay 'em a whole bunch of money and it's not necessarily going to swing." The rhythm section here—bassist Ari Roland and drummer Alvin Atkinson—definitely swings, benefiting from having recently made a State Department-sponsored foreign tour.

The opening track, "I Want To Be A Teacher," as well as "Well, You Better Not," derive from jazz dramas Yamin wrote during his tenure at Louis Armstrong Middle School. Both are contrafacts of Thelonious Monk tunes, "Let's Cool One" and "Well, You Needn't" respectively. They display Yamin's command of Monk devices and flourishes, delivered with exuberance. Chris Byars, who completes the quartet on all but two tracks, finds the Monk groove on soprano and alto saxophones. Alto saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, who Yamin met when she was a student at LaGuardia High School, digs into the backbeat shuffle of the title tune and bright swirls of "Katiana's New Start."

In his impressive command of jazz piano traditions—referencing Erroll Garner, Ahmad Jamal or Abdullah Ibrahim as easily as Monk—Yamin is reminiscent of the late Jaki Byard, another expansive omnivore of jazz. On "Rwandian Child," a trio track with sax backgrounds at the heart of the album, Yamin builds a dramatically fulfilling performance, personalizing a full spectrum of jazz piano traditions.


Track Listing: I Want To Be A Teacher; You Can

Personnel: Chris Byars: saxophone, flute, conga; Lakecia Benjamin: saxophone; Ari Roland: bass; Alvin Atkinson: drums; Eli Yamin: piano.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Plays New Zealand" CD/LP/Track Review Plays New Zealand
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Taking Flight" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Flight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Bright Side" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Side
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Kirkastus" CD/LP/Track Review Kirkastus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 28, 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!