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Eli Yamin: You Can’t Buy Swing

Eli Yamin is a high-energy straightahead piano player who is also an educator, consultant, DJ, and overall proselytizer for jazz. The first five tracks of this album could be a party record. They are all about having a hard-swinging good time.

The sixth track, “Rwandan Child,” opened by bassist Ari Roland, stops you cold. Elsewhere on You Can’t Buy Swing, Roland plays the arco bass solos he is known for, like dark wind through trees. But on “Rwandan Child” he is pizzicato, slow and sorrowful and ceremonial. Yamin plays a melody surprisingly lyrical but it becomes powerful left-hand chords of protest and right-hand tremolos that hang in the air like death knells. This was never meant to be a party record.

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