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Louis Mazetier : Tributes, Portraits and Other Stories

There is a group of European pianists-Berndt Lhotsky, Chris Hopkins, Rossano Sportiello, Meral Guneyman, Louis Mazetier-that is largely responsible for keeping the stride piano tradition alive. The most interesting is Mazetier. He uses the genre more broadly, and for larger creative purposes. Stride is his primary path, but sometimes he veers into alternate routes. Sometimes he blends stride meaningfully with dissimilar forms.

Mazetier’s “Sweet and Lovely” is as unsentimental and almost as spiky as Monk’s. “Tea for Two” is another octogenarian song that Monk modernized. Mazetier subjects it to an exploratory, pensive two-minute prologue. Even when his left hand kicks into octaves and oom-pahs, he breaks them up and emphasizes elaborate right-hand decoration. Mazetier’s version of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark,” with its blocky chords, is architectural and majestic and not dated.

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