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David Leonhardt Trio: Bach to the Blues

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As a keyboardist, composer and bandleader, David Leonhardt exhibits a palpable eagerness to expand his repertoire and shows enjoyment in exploring his abilities as a musician and arranger. His latest project, Bach To The Blues is an assortment of classical pieces which Leonhardt puts his own spin on with the assistance of his band mates Matthew Parrish on bass and Alvester Garnett on drums. Leonhardt’s interpretation of classical numbers penned by such icons as Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven, and Bach infuse dazzling frills and eloquent trimmings that enhance the chords dynamics and ease the shifts in the melodic transitions, thereby composing a balance between free-style exertions and conventional chamber jazz motifs. Leonhardt takes the starch out of traditional fixtures in classical pieces and opens them up to new melodic expressions without compromising their skeletal structure.

The dramatic swags of the piano keys in Schubert’s “Ava Maria” are gorgeous, and the bowed arches and soft inflections of the piano keys that Leonhardt puts in Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedic No. 1” are synchronized in accordance with the rhythmic beats. Mounds of chamber-style piano keys brandish an orchestral pageantry in Bach’s “Prelude In A Minor” heightening each stage of the piece, while the dark, heavy tones of Beethoven’s “Adagio From Pathetique” are garbed in gloomy shadows which gradually increase their altitude and develop into a banquet of cherubic-like frolics along the sequences of ruffling piano keys.

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