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Armen Donelian: Wave

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One CD that probably won’t get many more plays at my place is Armen Donelian’s Wave, even though it contains some really outstanding moments, like the lovely and surprising ending on “All of Me.” There are two problems here, both of which involve the program more than the pianist, who actually has an attractive touch and some very original lines and harmonic ideas. Every tune is taken at medium tempo or slower, and every one is overly familiar, except perhaps for the opening “I Will,” by Lennon-McCartney. One suspects that Donelian often works in situations where such fare is well-received, and wishes him luck with this recording in those settings. For my part I would be very interested to hear him in a more specifically jazz context.