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Album Review

Cyrus Chestnut's approach to piano is a mix of his gospel roots, effortless swing, lively bop, and lyrical ballad playing. His formative years included a stint with Jon Hendricks and the demanding Betty Carter, although here, accompanied by bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Neal Smith, his session focuses on his original works — aside from a playful romp through the standard "Lover." His breezy bop vehicle "Smitty's Joint" showcases each member of the trio in turn and is destined to be a perfect set opener. Smith switches to brushes for Chestnut's delicate jazz waltz "Eyes of Angel," a spacious number that shimmers. "Journeys" deceptively opens in a subdued manner, building from a soft ballad setting into an intense climax without ever losing its lyricism. "Goliath" combines various influences from Chestnut's background, incorporating a familiar classical theme and his church pianist roots in a meditative yet gently swinging setting. Cyrus Chestnut's journeys have taken him to many musical destinations, yet he remains a distinctive original pianist whose work has continued to grow.


Born: January 17, 1963 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An adept jazz pianist, Cyrus Chestnut balances his lithe technical skill with a robust, soulful style that speaks to his deep gospel roots and love of swinging hard bop. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Chestnut first studied piano with his father at the age of five, with official lessons beginning two years later. By the age of nine, he was enrolled in the prep program at the Peabody Institute. He graduated from Berklee with a degree in jazz composition and arranging. Chestnut took his time, working...
Full Bio
Journeys, Cyrus Chestnut Trio
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 27, 2010

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