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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Live at The Blue Note

Sony Classical 82876 74745-2



  1. What is This Thing Called Love
  2. Someday
  3. You Donít Know what Love Is. (With Chris Botti)
  4. Daily Living
  5. Dat Dere
  6. Besame Mucho
  7. Straight No Chaser. (With Roy Hargrove)
  8. Sincerely
  9. Chronicle
  10. Take the A Train

Eldar - Piano
Marco Panascia - Bass
Todd Straight - Drums

Eldar hails from Kyrgystan, he moved to the USA in 1998 at age 11 and now at just 20 years of age, is one of the most accomplished jazz pianists and composers, I have ever heard. It is just amazing that someone who was not exposed to American culture until 9 years ago, should have achieved such a remarkable technique, and such an understanding of the genre. It has to be a remarkable gift because no one could learn to play so well in such a short time.

Chris Botti guests on track 3, his playing is as usual full of delicate, charming and sometimes understated phrases. The tune is one of my favourites and one that leaves the improviser many possibilities, due to itís construction. The trio with Eldar leading the way accompanies him sympathetically, with the leader not using his technique for the sake of it, but working in harness with the guest soloist. The great Oscar Peterson is not only an incomparable soloist but a wonderful accompanist, it is a mark of maturity in a pianist.

Eldar plays a number of his own compositions on this record, to me his compositions, while interesting, are not so outstanding as his work with the library of jazz standards. Perhaps this is a side to his playing which will develop in the future, nothing would surprise me with this young man! His interpretations of both Dat Dere and Besame Mucho are both fresh and very different, the former he tears into with everything he has but the latter is delicately embellished.

Straight No Chaser, Monkís strange but interesting blues, brings trumpet player Roy Hargrove to join the trio and everyone has a high energy work out on this one! The rhythm section works well and the whole thing swings with great momentum! Eldarís technique is shown off to great advantage here and anything played by Roy Hargrove is always great to listen to.

Two very different Eldar compositions are heard on tracks 8 & 9, Sincerely is tender and gentle, whilst Chronicle is high energy.

The session concludes with an unusual, but very pleasant version of the Dukeís A Train, which even includes some stride piano, is their anything this young man canít do!

Be very clear Eldar Djangirov is a young man you are going to hear a lot more of in the jazz world! Get acquainted with this record now!

Don Mather

see also review by Tony Augarde


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