Matt Savage has turned quite a few heads during his career, because no one expects a 12-year-old boy to be playing bop with authority. He is a child prodigy who started playing piano at the age of six-and-a-half. This 2004 studio session features Savage with his adult rhythm section (bassist John Funkhouser, who previously served as an instructor at Berklee School of Music, and drummer Steve Silverstein), introducing a CD of 14 originals, one of which, "The Ride Cymbal," is based on the chord changes to the standard "Sweet Georgia Brown." The sassy strut "House Cat," the constantly shifting "Seven Up," and the slightly dissonant ballad "The Wild Rose" (which suggests the possible influence of Thelonious Monk) are among his best compositions. It is extremely difficult to compare Savage (who recorded the session just prior to his 12th birthday) with an adult pianist, but he will continue to be one to watch as he furthers his development as a performer and composer.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden