John Colianni

Maybeck Recital Hall Series, Vol. 37

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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell

Best known as Mel Tormé's pianist in the '90s, Colianni sounds like an interesting young man in the liner notes to his Maybeck solo recital (Vol. 37 in the series) -- interested in all kinds of music and not all that enchanted with bop. Yet this mostly conventional recital is far from a statement of rebellion, or a statement of anything other than the usual generic veneration of the old masters. I will say this; Colianni brings a dazzling technique, even by Maybeck standards, to his bop-laced-with-stride-and-Tatum interpretations. His "Tea For Two" in particular is drenched in a copycat Tatum conception, but at least Colianni has the chops to pull it off. The sole flash of an inquiring mind comes at the end, where Colianni sticks in a nicely bleak rendition of the late Kurt Cobain's "Heart Shaped Box" -- possibly its first jazz interpretation -- just after Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye." They do fit together, and he should explore more such juxtapositions.

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