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Eldar: re-imagination

That Eldar has mind-boggling chops has been apparent since he was 10 and still lived in his native Kyrgyztan. He is now 20 and lives in the United States. He may be as fast as anyone who has ever played jazz piano. But his new album is very difficult to listen to.

For his third recording on Sony BMG, Eldar wants to be more “forward-looking,” and to focus on his own compositions. “Forward looking” in jazz these days is code for ingredients like electric bass (James Genus or Marco Panascia), guitar (Mike Moreno), Fender Rhodes (David Lai), “turntables, programming, effects” (DJ Logic) and keyboard programming and synthesizers (Eldar himself). While these added flavors (usually sweet) tend to be predictable and generic, they remain on the margins of this music, and are not the problem.

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