Very rich, with jagged, dark edges. Have listened many times and am continuing to discover.
I was predisposed to 'Insensitive' -- I'd heard him perform it live before the album came out, and it stuck with me for hours after the concert. What a gem. (Tho I just noticed the coda to Insensitive is kissing cousins to the coda of The Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)".)
This album is not going to be for everyone. I can say for myself that it's one of my favorites. Highly recommended, and catch him live if he comes to your area.
Even with a touch that can understandably lack the wisdom of subtly, Eldar's (w/ brilliant backup) breakout release of boldly played compositions is as excitingly engaging a contemporary jazz piano release as any in recent memory, definitively launching the under-appreciated prodigy as a world force of his own.
As he continued to dazzle audiences with his impressive technique and straight- ahead hell bent artistry during the 2000's, Eldar Djangirov (better known as "Eldar") delivered another blockbuster hit in 2009, where he displays a jagged edge capped with abject angular-driven acoustic inventions. Again headed by his trio, The Virtue takes a different turn on this daring masterpiece that focuses on his kamikaze-style piano solos as it features a few horn arrangements and synthesizer solos alike, but this one features less `synth-jazz', which help make it an equal hit for real jazz fans. With special guest appearances by Joshua Redman and Nicholas Payton, this disc give us a unique and challenging track set featuring classic compositions like Blues Sketch In Clave, his studio take on Daily Living, Long Passage, and his ballad take on Monty Alexander's Estate, which help give this masterwork it's adventurous and staggeringly pronounced swing. You get to hear several synthesizer-driven tracks, like Vanilla Sky, which add to the high drama that makes The Virtue a timeless and endearing masterpiece that will remain as timeless as ever for the ages. However, this album may teeter toward contemporary jazz a little bit, there is definitely never a dull moment as it sticks mostly to it's true colourful acoustic brilliance that makes this one a hard-earned must for any serious jazz fan or connoisseur of the music.
I'm so happy to have finally discovered Eldar. What a talent! I'm a huge fan of this kind of music (Hiromi, Chick, etc). Armando Gola and drummer Ludwig Afonso are also fantastic players whom I did not prior to now. I just love the way this album was recorded. It feels so good on my ears. Great compositions, stellar musicianship. Incredibly musical all the way through. My favorite tunes on this album are currently the mellow, introspective tunes like "Estate" and "Lullaby Fantazia", but I love all the harder fusion stuff as well. Lullaby reminds me of some of my favorite Hiromi tunes; it really speaks to me. This land between jazz and classical is so fertile in the right hands. He plays some really long notes, that hang so nicely in the space. "Blackjack" is smokin' hot bebop fusion, and it is definitely growing on me. It blows my mind how mature this music sounds for such a young guy. I think musical ability must be something you can accumulate across lifetimes. How else is this level of ability possible? "Long Passage" is another tune I'd recommend - the bass on this one is incredibly happening. The virtuosity, and the artistry, are overwhelming. Listen to his "Flight of the Bumblebee" (on Bach/Brahms/Prokofiev), and you will be amazed every time you hear it! I know no one wants to call anyone a genius, but I'm really tempted.
Eleven gorgeous tracks. Exposition, Insensitive, Blue Sketch In Clave, Iris, The Exorcist, Lullaby Fantasia, Blackjack, Vanilla Sky. . . . They have become my favorites. I love the speed with his left hand presenting a constant melody to support the right hand's melody. It's almost like he has two brains working all the time. It's an amazing album and I would recommend it highly.
Modern jazz fusion at its finest. Fantastic playing by the entire ensemble. Beautiful,intriguing compositions. Odd time signatures,compelling,creative ,masterful. The best record Eldar has put out. We are blessed to have Eldar around for many years to come.
Eldar is on his game on this one. If you like driving at night jazz you'll love this collection. If you like Eldar this will blow your mind. His skills and his music comes to a perfect balance on Virtue. The order of the selections flows from number to each wonderful number at the perfect pace. A must for all Jazz and Eldar fans.