Cyrus Chestnut


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On Revelation, Cyrus Chestnut offers 60 minutes of tasty, gospel- and blues-infused trio music. Both accessibility and virtuosity mark Chestnut's jazz playing, and his affinity for spirituals, hymns and down-home blues is evident in his emotional approach. He is fond of building momentum -- almost as if he were an evangelical preacher -- with repetitive and extended right-hand runs, and is most effective on the quicker, faster paced numbers. For this album, he is joined by Christopher J. Tomas (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums). The trio communicates well and swings hard. Nine of the 11 tracks on this, Chestnut's first release for Atlantic, are originals. Three of the album's best tracks are the bright, exciting "Elegie," the delicate solo vehicle, "Sweet Hour of Prayer" (backed only by Penn's brushes) and the pretty, original "Proverbial Lament." Many of the other tracks are played at faster tempos, none faster than "Macdaddy," on which he flexes his considerable chops. Revelation is a clean, enjoyable set led by a very promising young pianist.

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