Pianist Cyrus Chestnut works his magical fingers throughout this album, which features a slew of Elvis Presley classics. While harsh critics would say these are little more than lounge-y renditions, Chestnut brings a jazzy sophistication to much of the material beginning with “Hound Dog” and a sultry, stylish “Don’t Be Cruel”, which conjures up Oscar Peterson or Herbie Hancock. However, not everything here is gold, as a pedestrian paced stab at “Can’t Help Falling In Love” is little more than arty elevator music. Fortunately, Chestnut comes back with a far better and textured version of “Love Me Tender” (featuring great solo work) then follows that up with a smoky, gentle, and terribly tender “Don’t”. Perhaps the biggest surprise is how strong both “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Suspicious Minds” come off, the latter containing a slightly different arrangement, mixing jazz and Latin.
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// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article