Andy Ezrin – I Was Here (ENG review)

Ez It Iz Music – Street date April 22th 2024
Andy Ezrin - I Was Here

If the name of this composer and keyboardist rings a bell, you’re on the right track; he will release his album under his own name “I Was Here” towards the end of this month. Andy has been performing extensively worldwide since 1989, recording and touring with the Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz group, New York Voices, with whom he has played at major jazz festivals around the world, including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal, and Live Under The Sky in Japan. He has also performed multiple times at Carnegie Hall (once as a soloist with New York Voices and the Count Basie Orchestra), Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall (with the Boston Pops), Hollywood Bowl, and the United Nations.

So, he’s not unknown by any means; you’ve probably heard him on one of his 12 trio recordings under his own name, including “Tactile” (Rosebud), a jazz piano trio CD, “Zoom: Love Junket,” a jazz organ/multi-keyboard trio recording, and “Silent Movies,” a solo piano CD featuring original compositions. He has also released his jazz trio/quartet recording “What Speaks to Me” and his most recent original solo piano recording titled “Dusk.” Additionally, he’s known for his work on Sesame Street and composing the music for “Clifford the Big Red Dog’s Really Big Movie.” I’ll spare you most of the details you can find in his biography on his website but here’s a little more: Andy recently performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and saxophonists Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, and Ravi Coltrane. Andy is currently on tour with the great saxophonist David Sanborn.

On “I Was Here,” he invites Randy Brecker, John Patitucci, Marcus Gilmore, and Ari Hoenig, which gives you an idea of the caliber of this album. From the first to the thirteenth track, we have a qualitatively magnificent album here, with genuinely joyful and complex compositions and arrangements that make it totally accessible to everyone. Andy Ezrin deeply masters the art of melody, offering each musician an impressive space for expression, and everyone takes full advantage of it. You can even feel the improvisational aspects, making this album sound a bit like a live recording.

John Patitucci is absolutely impressive and leads everyone on the tracks he plays. We could continue using superlatives to describe the thirteen tracks of this album, but what’s the point? This album is as essential as the chocolate bar given to kids at snack time, an album that’s so easy to listen to that if you’re not careful, it might play on repeat until the wee hours of the night, just when writers are struggling to avoid writer’s block. A problem that Andy Ezrin seems to completely dismiss, offering compositions of stunning beauty here.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, April 10th 2024

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