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.)