The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS | - COR­MAC LARKIN


Jazz Vil­lage ★★★★ Tech­ni­cal vir­tu­os­ity has al­ways been jazz’s dou­ble-edged sword. Empty tech­nique can be the en­emy of artis­tic ex­pres­sion, but in the hands of an artist, ad­vanced mas­tery of a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment can make dis­cernible the most sub­tle and un­sayable of emo­tions, just as today’s high-res­o­lu­tion tele­scopes bring far-flung, pre­vi­ously un­seen gal­ax­ies into view. Azer­bai­jani pi­anist Shahin Novrasli is un­doubt­edly a vir­tu­oso, a mas­ter of the key­board with jaw-drop­ping tech­nique, ca­pa­ble of Jar­rett-like flur­ries of melody, spiced with the folk in­flu­ences of his home­land. But there is some­thing more here – a will­ing­ness to be guided by emo­tion, to peer into the dark­ness – which ex­plains why leg­endary pi­anist Ahmad Ja­mal has taken Novrasli un­der his wing. For emerg­ing pi­anists, en­dorse­ments don’t come much sweeter. shahin­novrasli

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