Adam Makowicz has invited comparisons to Art Tatum for his amazing technique, though the pianist has rarely had the proper marketing support from most of the labels that have recorded him over the decades. His solution was to issue this remarkable 2003 solo concert, which consists of 11 originals, on his own label. "Tatum on My Mind" salutes the late virtuoso by incorporating a number of his trademarks: the rapid right-handed arpeggios, sudden changes in direction, and a striding left hand. Yet he is able to change gears in his tribute "For Erroll Garner," a loping original that suggests the humor and swing of its namesake. The remaining tracks were inspired by the quarter century that Makowicz has spent living in Manhattan. "Living High in Manhattan" captures the hustle and bustle of the big city, while "Early June in Central Park" suggests a relaxing early-morning stroll. The engineering of this solo concert, which was recorded at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is impeccable as well.
Songs for Manhattan Review
by Ken Dryden