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Eldar Djangirov: Eldar

Eldar (D&D DDT 2001; 58:38) is not strictly piano trio, since a few tracks are solo piano. But let’s cut Eldar Djangirov some slack: he’s just a kid, after all. That said, he’s a pretty fine pianist for a 14-year-old. No, really. Granted, he has some growing to do, musically (for the rest, I can’t speak). But in all fairness, Djangirov has huge talent; prodigious, in fact. To put this young player in perspective is to admire his technical facility and his sense of the way the elements of music interact in jazz, and to look forward to a loosening of his grasp on musical time. He has written some solid tunes for his recorded debut- the wistful “Meetings and Partings” in particular-though on occasion his writing seems driven by his virtuosity, and flourish overtakes fit and finish, as on “In the Haze.” His arrangements, similarly, can get too busy: Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t” and Shorter’s “Footprints” both bruise a bit in this regard. Bassist Gerald Spaits and drummer Todd Strait do all that is asked of them-and that’s quite a bit, given the arrangements and some of the tempi.

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