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Angel Eyes

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Album Review

An hour-long solo piano set recorded in April 1993 at SteepleChase Records' Danish studio, Stanley Cowell's Angel Eyes shows off the educator and sideman's impeccable melodic sense in its purest setting. Although there's a cerebral quality to Cowell's playing, akin to cool piano pioneers like Lennie Tristano, Bill Evans, and Dave Brubeck (who performed one of the best-known versions of this set's title track), Cowell never loses sight of the song's melodic line, even when his playing veers off into abstract variations. The program is roughly divided between Cowell originals and jazz standards, with a completely restructured take on John Lennon's "Imagine" the odd tune out. Heavy on the ballads, Angel Eyes does include a swinging take on Thelonious Monk's "Eronel" as a change-up. The four Cowell originals are uniformly fine, with the soulful "Akua" the particular standout. Neither cabaret snooze nor avant-garde experiments, these nine piano solos are sublime, low-key mainstream jazz.


Born: 05 May 1941 in Toledo, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent modern, mainstream pianist who is adaptable to many acoustic jazz settings, Stanley Cowell has long been underrated except among knowing musicians. He studied the piano from the time he was four, and Art Tatum made an early impact. After attending Oberlin College Conservatory and the University of Michigan, Cowell (who had played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk while at Oberlin) moved to New York in 1966. He played regularly with Marion Brown (1966-1967), Max Roach (1967-1970), and the Bobby...
Full bio
Angel Eyes, Stanley Cowell
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 01 January 1994

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