Cyrus Chestnut

Cyrus Plays Elvis

by Jason MacNeil

18 December 2007

 

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.

Cyrus Plays Elvis

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article