Eldar [Sony]

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Eldar Djangirov, who was already a promising pianist at a very tender age, was able to immigrate along with his parents to the United States in order to better develop his amazing talent. After he appeared on the nationally syndicated radio program Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz at the age of 12, he was already displaying formidable chops for one so young. After two earlier releases for the small D&D label, he recorded his major label debut in early 2004 for Sony Classical. Already able to play at furious tempos normally associated with greats like Oscar Peterson and the late Art Tatum, especially in the stunning opening rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," he sometimes has trouble restraining his ability to show off his technique, nearly overwhelming Bobby Timmons' soulful "Moanin'" at times. Better are his reserved but refreshing approach to "Nature Boy" and the superb original ballad, "Lady Wicks." Bassist John Patitucci and drummer Todd Strait provide excellent support for the young man on the trio tracks (especially in the introspective take of "'Round Midnight"). Tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker is added on the Latin-tinged original "Point of View." Like all players who demonstrate tremendous technique at a young age, critics will be watching Eldar Djangirov with great interest to see if he successfully builds upon his amazing gifts.

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