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Matt Savage Trio: Hot Ticket: Live in Boston

By now the extraordinary story of Matt Savage is well known. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 3, underwent intensive therapy and took up piano at age 7. He jammed with Chick Corea’s rhythm section when he was 8 and played the Blue Note when he was 11. He is now 15, and Hot Ticket is his eighth album. Savage may be the most publicized prodigy in the history of jazz. He has been written up in Time and People and this magazine. He was the subject of a much-discussed piece on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He has appeared on TV shows like Today, 20/20 and Letterman. All the hype on Savage has begun to create a backlash (as hype always does). Some critics have begun to fret that he may not mature into a major jazz pianist. They need to chill.

It is true that some pieces on Hot Ticket are forms of showing off. On “Black Key Magic” (“some parts built entirely on the black keys and some parts entirely on the white”) and “A 6/4 Song,” Savage solves, then celebrates some daunting musical puzzles.

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