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Frederic Chopin
Vassily Primakov
Solo Piano Works

Review By Jim Luce
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Frederic Chopin Solo Piano Works Vassily Primakov

CD Label: Tavros 8253


  Dear reader, if you fancy yourself a jazz piano fan, you owe it to yourself to look beyond the traditional evolution of the blues as it relates to the development of modern jazz piano. Perhaps you've never stopped to consider the influences of other forms of music. As a broadcaster and presenter of jazz most of my life, it wasn't really until I produced the Miles Davis 75th Anniversary series for NPR that I came to better understand the role Bill Evans played in the making of the historic Kind of Blue sessions for Columbia. People like Evans the pianist and Gil Evans the composer borrowed from the classical tradition to expand possibilities for the musician to express different emotional statements that were not available in the confinement of the more traditional jazz settings such as trio and quartet.

Moving to the solo piano itself, Frederic Chopin is the only one of the world's great composers whose music is devoted entirely to the piano. He was way ahead of his time, and although you won't hear in his music very much of the rhythmic impulse that makes jazz what it is, you will hear the depth of expression for which jazz has become famous.

Case in point, the new Tavros recording of Chopin's music by Vassily Primakov. Primakov's live performances incorporate dazzling, nearly superhuman passion with expressive poetry. For over 70 minutes, the listener goes on a journey through Chopin's Fantaisie in F minor Op. 49, the Barcarolle Op 60, Scherzo in C-sharp minor Op. 39, the lullaby Berceuse Op. 57, and 4 Ballades. Don't worry about the names, just put on the CD, sit back, and you will hear in Primakov a modern day player who expresses in present day what really "hip" jazz composers were looking for in the 40s and 50s when they were looking for inspiration and found in Chopin such a fountainhead of beautiful musical, emotional and spiritual expression.




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