10 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Aaron Diehl—the winner of the prestigious Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz competition presented by the American Pianists Association—hits the ground running on his debut. The album features five originals and five covers that he says document his development as a musician; that's a sound idea for any debut. Citing influences from Modern Jazz Quartet’s John Lewis to Duke Ellington, this Juilliard graduate (who flourished under the watchful eye of Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center crew) plays straight ahead and right down the middle. This isn't to say it’s boring or bland; Diehl, vibist Warren Wolf, bassist David Wong, and drummer Rodney Green have a lively chemistry that ranges from the tricky “Generation Y” (Wolf in particular shines here) to a slow, elegant version of Ellington’s “A Single Petal of a Rose.” Diehl also gets ambitious, arranging an 11-minute version of Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin (III. Forlane)”; he successfully adds a sense of swing to this classical piece thanks to stellar keyboard work. An excellent first step from this emerging player.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Aaron Diehl—the winner of the prestigious Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz competition presented by the American Pianists Association—hits the ground running on his debut. The album features five originals and five covers that he says document his development as a musician; that's a sound idea for any debut. Citing influences from Modern Jazz Quartet’s John Lewis to Duke Ellington, this Juilliard graduate (who flourished under the watchful eye of Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center crew) plays straight ahead and right down the middle. This isn't to say it’s boring or bland; Diehl, vibist Warren Wolf, bassist David Wong, and drummer Rodney Green have a lively chemistry that ranges from the tricky “Generation Y” (Wolf in particular shines here) to a slow, elegant version of Ellington’s “A Single Petal of a Rose.” Diehl also gets ambitious, arranging an 11-minute version of Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin (III. Forlane)”; he successfully adds a sense of swing to this classical piece thanks to stellar keyboard work. An excellent first step from this emerging player.

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