As magazine editors, we first discovered Eldar when our music reviewer wrote, several years ago, a short article about this young, still unfamiliar jazz pianist from the former Soviet Union and his debut CD. At the time, critics were calling him a “reincarnation of Art Tatum,” and a “phenomena of nature.” This, of course, caught our attention because Tatum was an extraordinary keyboard artist who inspired countless jazz pianists over the years.
Sure enough, we loved Eldar’s first CD and have followed this pianist’s career ever since. He migrated to the United States at age 10 and now resides in New York when he’s not traveling. At age 26, he has released numerous CDs and continues to play for audiences around the world who appreciate his extraordinary piano pyrotechnics. As Bob Duarshuk wrote in Downbeat, “His command of the instrument is beyond staggering.”
We heard Eldar and his trio play in Delray Beach, Florida, this weekend and spoke with him after the performance. He said that, when he practices, he plays classical music 80% of the time because “it’s good for my technique and keyboard precision.”
Check out his recent simultaneous CD releases. One, titled Breakthrough, includes standard and original jazz compositions that feature his trio. The other, Bach/Brahms/Prokofiev, is a solo piano album showcasing Eldar’s unusual interpretations of well-known pieces from the classical repertoire. For more information, visit eldarmusic.com