David Azarian

Hope

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David Azarian is a Boston-based pianist who received extensive training as both a player and a composer in his native Armenia. He came to the U.S. in 1989, and has made a name for himself with his sophisticated and impressionistic playing style and his fine compositions. This album consists primarily of material from two radio broadcasts, both originating from WGBH in Boston (a 1991 session with bassist Marty Ballou and drummer Bob Gullotti, and a 1997 session with bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Weiner). The first session is devoted primarily to standards: "Darn that Dream," "Embraceable You," and Cole Porter's "Get Out of Town." Azarian's own "Song for Vicky" rounds out the set. The rest of the program (three tracks from the 1997 and a separate studio recording that finds Azarian experimenting with synthesizers) is devoted to Azarian originals, and these are the most compelling performances on the album. "Living in Jazzland" and "Prayer," in particular, both show his playing off to beautiful effect. "Hope...," the synthesizer number, is pleasant enough but perhaps a bit banal.

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