Sweet Georgia Brown; Nature Boy; Moanin'; *Point of View; Raindrops; Lady Wicks; Maiden Voyage; 'Round Midnight; Ask Me Now; Watermelon Island; Fly Me To The Moon (57.55)
Eldar, piano; John Patitucci, bass; Todd Strait, drums; * guest soloist Michael Brecker, tenor sax
This is a total surprise and a very enjoyable one! Eldar is an eighteen year old Russian émigré now domiciled in San Diego with a technique that brings to mind Peterson and Tatum coupled with an imaginative style that possibly may include Errol Garner, Monty Alexander or the master, Hank Jones. This young man is set to raise a few eyebrows in the Jazz fraternity, not just with his whirlwind attack on Sweet Georgia Brown but with his sensitivity as shown on Nature Boy and his own two compositions Raindrops and Lady Wicks.
The mature and knowledgeable manner in which he delivers each performance is a revelation - one might expect these qualities from a player with far more experience.
Eldar is accompanied by master bass player John Patitucci and new-on-the-scene drummer Todd Strait . Both of them are more than equal to the task of supporting the star pianist. Michael Brecker also fits comfortably beside the newcomer on his one guest appearance.
This is an extraordinary first release by a very exciting young musician of great talent.
by Al Merritt