A Million Colors In Your Mind
HighNote Records, Inc.
Cyrus Chestnut continues to go from strength to strength as a jazz pianist capable of reinventing pop and rock hits under those blues and gospel hues he finds within and around jazz. He continues, also, to pay respect to the true standards – so even when you hear his version of Lionel Richie’s Hello, here subtly recast (possibly unrecognisable to many) it is without intention to present this as clever, or quirky “novelty” fodder. We have to believe it’s just Chestnut ever in search of great melodies; trusting himself – and this fine trio with old hands David Williams (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums) – to channel the magic, the spirit; to find the gold.
Well, there’s plenty of gold in the hills and folds on this latest album, A Million Colors In Your Mind.
Chestnut kicks off with a gorgeous rendition of Frank Loesser’s I’ve Never Been In Love Before and then promptly tackles Scott LaFaro’s Gloria’s Step.
He has the stateliness of Bill Evans in his lines and, when required, the sharp, contemporary edge of someone like Stephen Scott.
His reading here of Johnny Mandel’s A Time For Love – draped over an eight-minute pause at the gates of heaven – is the sort of study in delicate understatement that Ahmad Jamal and very few others manage. Worth the price of admission alone. And speaking of subtlety Lewis’ brush work is a highlight throughout.