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CD Review

 

 

Joey Calderazzo - Amanecer
Marsalis Music/Rounder
        A post-bop pianist of the highest order, Calderazzo acquits himself very well on this, his newest CD. Starting out strong with a wonderful set of albums on Blue Note, Calderazzo has only gotten better with age and experience and has created several masterful piano jazz albums filled with inventive playing, melodic and harmonic innovations, and a lively percussive attack. Truly, he is an artist to watch closely as jazz music continues to evolve. Meanwhile, this album should stave off his fans' appetite for more of his piano playing
        Fans of Calderazzo will remember his stints playing in Michael Brecker's band and for replacing the late Kenny Kirkland in the Branford Marsalis Quartet but all following his career will remember his Blue Note's, where his sidemen were all more well-known than he was and he worked a style reminiscent of the acoustic piano work of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. No matter, as Calderazzo has developed into a fantastic leader and has crafted a career placing him at the top of a whole new breed of jazz artist bringing the music triumphantly into the new millenium. Most significantly, he has found his own voice, as all superior jazzmen have had to do to succeed. Now that he has it, he has managed to take off with it and use it to create some of the most striking jazz of the past ten years.
        Mostly a solo recording, Calderazzo's new CD is a departure for him. He is not totally alone, however, as guitarist Romero Lubambo joins Calderazzo for three selections as does Claudia Acuna. The result is a stark album that accents  Calderazzo's playing and inventiveness more than ever before while also showcasing his adeptness at coming up with  memorable melodies on his own and making other's songs (like mentor Michael Brecker's "Sea Glass" and Bill Evan's "Waltz for Debbie") sound as if he had written them. For my money, Calderazzo's own "The Lonely Swan" is the highlight of the album. This is truly a top-notch recording for Calderazzo and points towards a great career as he continues to gain momentum and experience. I see Calderazzo emerging as one of the top pianists in jazz within ten years if he keeps turning out albums as good as this one.
        Aficianados of piano-based jazz will love this album the most, but it should appeal across the board top those who like melodic invention and a new perspective on classic jazz. Calderazzo is clearly one of the leading lights in the future of jazz. Watch him, and while you're watching him, pick up this album. - Scott Homewood

www.joeycalderazzo.com

 

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