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The Poet of the Piano

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Album Review

Carmen Cavallero was the grand master of popular piano during the 1940s and '50s. Living Era's Poet of the Piano borrows its title from an old Decca double LP that contained the same number of tracks and some of the same selections. More passionate than his idol Eddy Duchin, Cavallero was a skilled interpreter of romantic jazz/pop standards like "Dancing in the Dark," "Night and Day" and "Cheek to Cheek." He also diligently performed well-known favorites from the European classical repertoire like "Chopin's Polonaise" and "Anitra's Boogie," a jazzy mutation of the seductress' scenario from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. Yet Cavallero was at his most exciting when handling material that seemed to resonate with his own ethnicity; examples included here are "Carioca," "Brazil" and the thrilling "Enlloro (Voodoo Moon)," a powerful and mysterious episode that unfolds dramatically over an extended time span of nearly eight minutes; its Latin percussion and ensemble chanting make "Enlloro" the best track of the album and indeed the most fascinating and moving performance that this artist ever recorded. Poet of the Piano is recommended for dining, drinking, dancing and, (during "Enlloro" perhaps) sensible degrees of debauchery.


Born: 06 May 1913 in New York, NY

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

"The Poet of the Piano," Carmen Cavallaro was born May 6, 1913 in New York City; though a classically-trained performer, in time he expanded into pop arrangements in the mode of his chief inspiration, Eddy Duchin. After a four-year stint as the featured soloist with bandleader Al Kavelin, in 1937 Cavallaro moved on to a series of other society big bands, including those helmed by Abe Lyman, Enric Madriguera, and Meyer Davis; in the early 1940s, he began leading his own groups, making his name on...
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The Poet of the Piano, Carmen Cavallaro
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