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CRITICAL

ACCLAIM

Cyrus is enjoying a 10+ week run in the top 10 the Jazz Week charts, including 6 weeks at No.1, for his latest release, My Father's Hands. The album is an homage to the influence of his late father, crafting a heartfelt album that touches upon jazz and pop standards, Latin rhythms, and originals. Joining him are two of his longtime associates and esteemed contemporaries, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash.

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  REVIEWS  

What makes Chestnut the best jazz pianist of his generation is a willingness to abandon notes and play space.

TIME

It is the pianist Chestnut’s professional secret how he can instantly tap into nuclear energy when full-bore swinging is called for, or directly access a stirringly poetic muse when limning ballads, but his admirers have been the grateful recipients of his prodigious gifts for four decades now. A steaming rhythm team—the bassist Buster Williams and the drummer Lenny White—is on hand to further stir the pot.

Cyrus Chestnut . . . knows how to conjure up a spirit of genuine romance. Just listen to the jaunty jazz pianist's reinvention of "Love Me Tender" on his new CD, Cyrus Plays Elvis. It's a great example of how a gifted musician can take a sappy song and set it free.

 

The much-heard melody, lifted from an old Civil War ballad, rings out with newfound oomph, sounding insistent yet dreamy. Chestnut reinvigorates the song with lush chords, playful grace notes, worshipful tremolos and effortless runs up and down the88s. Sometimes, the melody disappears altogether before returning, as if by magic.Chestnut works over the keyboard to win over the unnamed object of his desire, and it's hard to imagine anyone not giving in