wow, i can stop learning to play the piano.
i was at the eldar concert ( yesterday and am blown away.... it was my first ever live jazz concert and it was absolutely wonderful!

small club sold out (capacity 150 people with lots of people standing. still intimate setting.

he was so fast!  
in the concert introduction in our local newspaper he was announced as the worlds fastest jazz pianist alive. i'm just happy that i don't like the very fast "freestyle" parts where i tend to think: "just a little faster and they all go crazy ;-)" so i can still learn to play piano... *ggg*

two highlights:
1) he played a ballad and the whole audience almost stopped breathing. even right after he finished no applause. eldar looked almost confused/embarrased into the audience before we unleashed pandemonium...

2) a well known jazz standard where i noob don't know the name out of my head. the audience welcomed it immediately and almost "sang along" during the whole song. direct connection between artist and audience. the band was smiling a lot and so did we.  

it was a well balanced mixture of slower songs and fast swinging sometimes close to the edge to "going crazy" songs. i enjoyed myself tremendously and believe eldar's concert was a great start into my "career" as a jazz piano concert visitor.

before i forget to mention. unexpectedly i met a student of mine who happens to have a father who went to school with eldars father. so i met eldar later when most people already left for short chatting, pictures and autographs. what a nice and friendly guy. also his band members joined (i don't have much experience in this area, but all the regular visitors of that club said they also were absolutely excellent).  

if you can, go and see him on his tour and please share your concert review here :)
There are 29 comments, leave a comment.
i saw him live at the bimhuis, amsterdam. he's amazing. i was blown away by his "take the a-train" stride encore. he is also great at slower paces though. wonderful player...
was marco playing bass?
no, on bass was burniss "earl" travis ii.
check him out on his myspace account:
yep, eldar is on his way. i like to call him eldar the great, because he will surely go down in history as one of the best. right now his technique is equal to or exceeds even oscar's. :)

listen to his version of sweet georgia brown, quite similar to oscar's but even faster if that can be believed.

have a listen here:  

i don't like his left hand... and i don't really like his feel/time... each to their own i guess...
he is obviously a classical virtuoso, but argerich and ashkenazy and others can play faster, for what it's worth (not much).
he is amazing to listen to for his sheer technique -- a novelty.
but i've not yet heard anything really creative or artistic out of him.  he sounds like he has practiced that stuff note-for-note a million times.
i'm just sayin'...
like i said once before, if his soul ever catches up to his fingers he'll be a great one, no question.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
true, but, i guess getting the soul is the hard part. chops seem to be easier to come by. still i can't imagine anyone as great as this:

soul, chops, genius all in one package.

great speed. definitely an all-time top 5 in terms of notes-per-second, regardless of music style. the other 4 pianists would probably be tatum, peterson, classical pianists arcadi volodos and marc-andre hamelin. i think there's actually a higher number of super-fast virtuosos in classical music. listen to trumpet player sergei nakariakov, for example, or yet another pianist, sviatoslav richter, here on youtube:
folks, it's not a bicycle race.
as long as speed triggers the loudest ovations, it will be a bicyle race, and young players will dedicate their talent and energy to it.
i sometimes here him playing some lame and banal stuff at those high tempos.
i agree, but it is spectacular, in the way that a juggling monkey on an unicycle is spectacular (i bet the monkey would received an even louder ovation). it's the glamour and media factor. interestingly, i think most people actually prefer to listen to ballads, but they will always applaud the fireworks more, simply because a loud applause is more 'in the mood' of the loud piece that precedes it. most young musicians hear the difference in reaction and think that loud, fast pieces are more appreciated. of course the media also applies the same stupid rationale. thus young musicians who want to 'succeed' will aim for what will trigger the 'strongest' reaction. not surprisingly, the music i hear in some small local venue, played by some obscure musicians who truly love music, is often more interesting than the upcoming 'big names'.
keep in mind that it's a phase most musicians with chops go through.  i'm no oscar peterson, but my chops are at a high level. back when i was starting out i played fast all the time. i loved it- two handed runs, everything i could do.  now days i still enjoy the fast stuff, but i really enjoy taking time to paint musical pictures with groove, harmony, and the whole compositional aspect of playing.  and the funny thing, it doesn't matter to me anymore what the others are doing and what kind of ovations they are getting, i just love doing what i do and playing for people who enjoy listening to it.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
i think more players should incorporate octave solos at tempo 400 into their playing.  i think it's an essential part of the history and vitality of the music.  that stuff is music to my ears.
well, that's the difference between a young player and a mature artist.
i can remember having "solfegietto races" with other piano students when i was 12 or 13.  it was a lot of fun.  but i grew out of it.  it's not what music is about.
listening to eldar play fast reminds me of those car dealer advertisements on the radio where the announcer speaks four times faster than usual. imagine a great actor delivering his lines at that high speed, there would be no nuance at all. eldar gets away with a lot of banal ideas when he goes that fast, slow it down and the weaknesses are revealed.
i was listening to eldar on youtube and he was playing real fast but at times his improvised lines had some amaterurish content that was not worthy of a pro.
give him a break :) he is 19?
it's just a young way of playing.  yes, i do give him a break.
i want to hear him play when he's 40.
in order to evolve he'd have to actually take a real break for some years and come back transformed. with the kind of media success he's having, i don't see it happening. oh well. it's still interesting to hear how a human can come close to the speed of a machine, without quite matching it. if he plays here, i may even go to watch him for that. as for his cd's, i might as well listen to midi files.
he will either evolve, or end up like van cliburn, playing the same 2 concerti for the rest of his life.
we're still lucky that jazz still has a market for "low profile" musicians who can earn their living by playing (and happen to be the most interesting nowadays imo) despite not being big names. classical music doesn't offer such an alternative. as a result we find less and less originality and artistry in the new classical musicians, and the market has shrunken even more lately. what do we have in terms of new talent in classical music is either a cookie-cutter musician who happens to be photogenic, or some atrocity like lang lang lang or whatever his name (the classical version of eldar, but much worse). i just hope that jazz doesn't follow the same path. i think the future of jazz will depend on the 'obscure' musicians (who happen to be the most interesting nowadays imo) more than on the new 'big names'.
no, i won't give him a break, he started playing at age 3, now he's 20. he is highly experienced. and by his age art tatum, bud powell, wynton kelly, herbie hancock, and chick corea were all playing much more profoundly.
@ cynbad
love your comment ;-)

@ all
as i'm not much experienced: is it possible to improvise at that high speed? i'm happy to read that i'm not the only one who dislikes that close to crazyness fast playing :) and i will check out van cliburn. never heard of. i'm noob :(
"well, that's the difference between a young player and a mature artist."

lol......cynbad, did you honestly think i was serious?
here's oscar peterson playing sweet georgia brown.  

eldar can't sustain a stride at a fast tempo like this. in addition his articulation isn't as clear as this.  

listern to op play blues etude on live at the blue note cd.  
he plays a very fast boogie in the left hand, a melody in the right and at the same time a middle part with only his right hand thumb (a trill between middle c and d) all this at an incredibly fast tempo.  

eldar isn't a even near op and if oscar was 20 instead of 81 years old he would win a cutting contest against him.
dalty, with you, i never can tell ;-)

and jazz+, i doubt that anyone plays profoundly at the age of 19.

are you entertained by hearing/watching eldar? or are you not?

are non-musicians entertained by eldar? most assuredly many are.

he's been coached in showmanship, eldar is a pro. while perhaps not an "a" act in hollywood terms, he certainly rates a solid "b".  

as long as people are buying his recordings and attending his concerts, i say more power to him and all others who promote jazz piano to the masses.

personally, i do find him entertaining to watch, if somewhat "busy".
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