Sunday, December 22, 2019

Album Review: Eldar Djangirov- Letter to Liz

I hadn’t realized Bill Evans’ “Waltz for Debby” is a seasonal song in the tradition of “Silent Night.”  And did you know “It Might as Well Be Spring” conveys the somber sentiment of the “What Child Is This”?  Eldar Djangirov’s persuasive Letter to Liz challenges conventional assumptions about jazz standards.  Released without advance notice three days ago, the solo piano album by the former Kansas City resident opens with an interpretation of “Amazing Grace.”  Djangirov’s tender approach to the hymn sets a contemplative tone.  Letter to Liz contradicts Djangirov’s reputation as an excitable pianist prone to excess.  He lets loose only on the final track, an appropriately rousing version of Art Tatum’s “Tiger Rag.”  “Waltz for Debby” and “It Might as Well Be Spring” may not really be holiday songs, but Djangarov’s heavenly release acts as a refreshing balm amid the clamor associated with the final days of December.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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