Thursday, June 14, 2007
"Eldar has the fastest hands in jazz...melds Russian soul (in the ballads) with American razzle-dazzle." -- Billboard
Jazz pianist Eldar documents his transition from youthful prodigy to creative artist with the release of re-imagination. Born and raised in Russia, Eldar's mother nurtured his burgeoning talent and he soon became a student of the classical Russian School of Music where he refined his technique. However, it was when his father introduced him to jazz legends Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock that he "fell in love with jazz for life." From the age of nine, Eldar's awards and accolades accumulated and peaked with a performance at the Grammy Awards in 2000 and a first place recipient award in the Peter Nero Piano Competition. His previous album, 2006's Live At The Blue Note, cemented Eldar as one of the most formidable jazz musicians of his generation.
On re-imagination, Eldar explores in-depth compositions by reflecting on people, places and events in his life. He conceived the project as a pseudo suite, weaving together nine originals and two standards into an autobiographical narrative arc. The opening track, “I Remember When,” was written for his parents and his "wonderful" upbringing. "Prairie Village" recalls the time he spent in his first American hometown, a suburb of Kansas City. Also featured on the disc is "Place St. Henri" by Oscar Peterson, whom Eldar cites as his foremost influence. To top it all, master turntablist DJ Logic brings a unique, distinctive edge and texture to the music seldom found on jazz records. With re-imagination, Eldar finally manages to get the range, virtuosity and fun of his renowned live shows onto an album. For those who have not yet experienced Eldar live, check out this video to get a taste and be prepared to buy your tickets when he comes near your town on his US tour. He wowed audiences recently at his sold-out release party at Joe's Pub proving that he can break physical barriers with his piano playing on record and on stage. As Downbeat Magazine's Robert Doerschuk states, "it's what he does when the razzle-dazzle dies down and we sense substance within and beyond his pyrotechnics" that truly sets him apart from the pack.