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Aaron Diehl: Space Time Continuum

On pianist-composer Aaron Diehl’s fourth album as a leader, his choices of both material and sidemen illuminate his recording’s title: The 29-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, creates an environment in which historic and contemporary styles of jazz, as well as the Western classical tradition, are welcome and integrated. While the album is not especially piano-centric, fans of Diehl’s exquisite touch, precise articulation and meticulous arrangements will be richly rewarded.

The six originals on Space Time Continuum reveal the influence of jazz forebears like Ellington, Bud Powell and John Lewis, an early role model to whom Diehl has been compared. Like Lewis, he draws on classical tradition; one is as likely to hear an echo of Rachmaninoff as of Ellington. As a pianist he’s equally eclectic, reminiscent of Ahmad Jamal, Monk-and, occasionally, classical virtuosi.

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