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My Favorite Things

4.7 out of 5 stars 376 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 12, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An extraordinary and uniquely gifted pianist from Bali, Joey Alexander marks his recording debut with the release of MY FAVORITE THINGS. Joey brings a delicate, profound and soulful touch to his own interpretation of such classics as 'My Favorite Things', 'Giant Steps'; and 'Over the Rainbow', and showcases his talents as an arranger, composer and bandleader.

Review

'Magnificent not only for his virtuosity but for the maturity and perception he brings...' --JazzTimes

'Breathtaking...' --Downbeat
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Digital Booklet: My Favorite Things
Digital Booklet: My Favorite Things
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 12, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Motema Music
  • ASIN: B00TZE3W0C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (376 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As a jazz pianist for over 45 years, I try to keep up with every jazz pianist out there. I first heard of Joey about 6 months ago after googling for "Jazz piano prodigies". I had been familiar with Eldar Djangirov from the age of 13, totally amazed at his early development and mastery of the piano and jazz idiom. Then there has been Beka Gochiashvili, the Georgian phenom. Now here's another prodigy that is destined to amaze listeners around the world in the months and years ahead--The incredibly gifted Joey Alexander.

Prior to the release of this debut album, I had been searching for every clip on YouTube and Joey's Facebook page that I could find. He amazes me on all levels. When he plays solo, his inventiveness and unpredictability as to what he will play next are always clearly at the forefront. When he plays in a trio format, he blows me away. But I also have been very impressed with his accompaniments of other musicians and even singers. All of this is just so rare in a musician so young. This is about so much more than technique, or understanding of jazz harmonies, phrasing, licks and the jazz/standards repertoire. Joey exhibits tremendous maturity in his playing--like a pianist with five times his experience. I'm aghast at how well seasoned he sounds--leaving space, weaving in and out of the groove in ingenious ways, even sounding at times like he's lost his place in the tune, even though he hasn't.

Joey has all the tools--he can play with fire, very softly and introspectively, he swings, his harmonic sense is very deep, he plays up and down the entire keyboard, he is very creative and you never know what going to come out next--he's full of surprises in his playing, never boring.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this after reading the article in the NYT on 5/12/15 and watching the 6-minute video that accompanied the story. I don't listen to a lot of Jazz these days, but I did in the late 80s, when every corner joint in my neighborhood had world-class trios playing live on any given night. I'm no expert, and don't really have the language for Jazz; I know I love really straight-up, mid-century (50s & 60s) stuff-- to my ear, it's timeless, and the good artists are improvising on top of the compositions and electrifying it . Straight-up Jazz, for me, is the equivalent of listening to a painting. Paintings, I know. Music is art, and Jazz is the Abstract Expressionism of Music.

This album is magnificent. I don't know what's up with Mr. Alexander. I think he's someone really old and magical come back to life in this small, soulful, brilliant little boy. The sound transcends the novelty of his age and background. "Prodigy" implies a cool, calculating, sharpness, heavy on technique, light on depth. There's none of that here.
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Format: Audio CD
Born on the island of Bali in the city of Denpassar in 2003, Joey Alexander first encountered a piano at the age of six, and was immediately able to pick out the melody of Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't" and other jazz standards from his father's record collection by ear. Despite no formal jazz education, Joey rose quickly in the Indonesian jazz scene and beyond. In 2013 he was featured at jazz festivals in both Jakarta and Copenhagen, and won the international improvisation contest in Odessa, Ukraine - besting over 200 adult contestants. In 2014, Joey performed at star-studded galas for Jazz At Lincoln Center at the Rose Room, The Jazz Foundation of America at the Apollo and the Arthur Ashe Foundation. The 12 year old Joey has signed with Motema records and is rapidly growing in demand on the international circuit.

Driven by Alexander's imagination, sophisticated arrangements and dazzling playing, `My Favorite Things' is soulful and joyful. It is also statement of intent, a compelling introduction to a budding young leader, performer and composer, who plays with power and elation. From his impressionistic introduction to "Giant Steps" to the spirited interplay with his band mates on "It Might As Well Be Spring," to his singular closing rendition of "Over The Rainbow," Joey proves himself a true and distinctive jazz professional.

The ensemble is Joey Alexander - piano, Larry Grenadier - bass, Ulysses Owens Jr.- drums with Russell Hall - bass, Sammy Miller - drums, and Alphonso Horne - trumpet.
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Format: Audio CD
How is it possible? An 11-year-old kid from Indonesia has fully absorbed the ideas and techniques of some of the greatest masters in the history of jazz. He plays with the fluency, dexterity, subtlety, and imagination of someone who has been studying for many years, yet he's done this primarily through exposure to recordings. Yes, he's prodigiously gifted to begin with, but he brings more to the keyboard than that. He brings creative ideas of his own. He brings genius.

Only five years after first touching the piano and three years after being discovered by Herbie Hancock, Joey Alexander presents eight standards and an original piece on his debut album. The bebop improvisation of Thelonious Monk ("'Round Midnight" and "I Mean You') and the modal jazz of John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner ("Giant Steps" and the title track) are clearly among the strongest of Joey's many influences, along with Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and others. He possesses a deep understanding of their melodies and harmonies, their phrasing and rhythms. This is part of what led Wynton Marsalis to become a mentor and New York Times critic Nate Chinen to call him "a thoughtful musician as well as a natural one, with a sophisticated harmonic palette and a dynamic sensitivity."

The brilliant sidemen in the trios on this CD -- drummers Ulysses Owens and Sammy Miller, bassists Larry Grenadier and Russell Hall -- add complexity to Joey's compelling readings of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," Rodgers & Hammerstein's "It Might as Well Be Spring," and Dizzy Gillespie's "Tour de Force," on which he's also joined by trumpeter Alphonso Horne. He wraps up the album with an exquisitely delicate solo interpretation of Arlen & Harburg's "Over the Rainbow.
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