Since signing with Sony Masterworks at the age of 17, the young pianist Eldar has worked tirelessly on the road and in the studio to deepen his exploration of the traditions of jazz: bebop, post-bop and beyond. With the April 5th release of Three Stories
, his first solo recording on Masterworks Jazz, Eldar pays homage to his classical roots by combining his musical passions, jazz and classical.
The title has a double meaning," he explains. First, it is the name of a three-movement composition which consists of three musical 'narratives,' each telling a distinct story. Second, the album consists of my interpretations and arrangements of predominantly three musical facets: standards, originals, and classical."
The new disc confirms Eldar's membership in that rarefied group of musicians who are masters of both the jazz and classical traditions: Greats like Keith Jarrett, Andre Previn, and Wynton Marsalis. At the same time, Eldar can turn a modern pop tune like Dave Matthews' moody So Damn Lucky" into a showcase of soulful agility.
The album highlights Eldar's astounding range. It includes standards that have been staples of his live repertoire, including a playful version of Sammy Cahn's I Should Care," an ethereal, deconstructed Darn That Dream," and a smooth take on the Thelonious Monk classic In Walked Bud" in 5/4 time. The original title track spins out like a three-movement jazz sonata, zooming from sweepingly lyrical to contemplative to rough-seas and back in a concise five minutes-plus. Eldar can also weave a beautiful simple tune as in his composition Russian Lullaby."
Eldar enlivens his virtuosic rendition of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue" with original cadenzas, and links the jazz and classical world with interpretations of Bach and Scriabin that range from mostly straight-ahead to imaginatively transmogrified.
Combining pyrotechnics with a mature sensibility, Eldar established an early reputation as a jazz phenom. He has since thrilled audiences around the world, injecting youthful excitement into both jazz and classical traditions. It is on tour that he continues to develop his unique style that traverses both genres. In 2010, he was on the road for 180 days in support of Virtue, his last album, all over the US, Europe and Asia. Eldar will continue to tour extensively throughout 2011 in the US, Europe, Australia, Russia, and beyond.
Soon after migrating to the US from Kyrgyzstan at age ten, Eldar showed his precocity, appearing on the Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz NPR show at the age of twelve, quickly releasing two independent albums, and signing with Sony in 2004 at the age of seventeen. The following year, Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that Eldar combines Art Tatum's superhuman velocity with echoes of Oscar Peterson's grandeur." He received his first Grammy nomination for 2007's re-imagination. He has shared the stage with luminaries including Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Pat Martino, Michael Brecker, Harvey Mason, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, and Ron Carter; appeared at such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, and the Vienna Jazz Festival; and appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and many other shows. He attended the University of Southern California and currently lives in New York City. Three Stories is his fifth Sony Masterworks album.
Tracklisting: I Should Care (Sammy Cahn); Prelude In C# Major (Johann Sebastian Bach); Darn That Dream (Jimmy Van Heusen); Windows (Chick Corea); Etude Op. 2 No. 1 (Alexander Scriabin); In Walked Bud (Thelonious Monk); Three Stories (Eldar Djangirov); So Damn Lucky (Dave Matthews / Stephen Harris); Embraceable You (George Gershwin); Russian Lullaby (Eldar Djangirov); Air on a G String (Johann Sebastian Bach); Impromptu (Eldar Djangirov); Rhapsody in Blue (George Gershwin); Donna Lee (Charlie Parker).
US Tour Dates:
March 7: Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Ctr (Young People's Chorus Benefit): NYC
April 13-16: Kennedy Center: Washington, DC
April 17: Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame: Tulsa, OK
April 21: Palladium (Trio): Carmel, Indiana
April 28: Catalina's Jazz: Los Angeles, CA
May 15: McCarter Theater: Princeton, NJ
May 28: Windham Chamber Music Festival (Trio): Windham, NY
July 15-17: Tulsa University / Jazz Hall of Fame: Tulsa, OK
July 31: San Diego Symphony with Orchestra: San Diego, CA
August 24: Ravinia: Chicago, IL
August 31-September 6: Napa Valley Symphony: Napa Valley, CA
September 18: Monterey Jazz Festival: Monterey, CA
October 2: White Concert Hall (Topeka Jazz Workshop): Topeka, KS
For more information on Eldar, visit www.eldarjazz.com or www.facebook.com/eldar.