Monday, April 12, 2010

Meet Two Of My New Friends, Ruslan Sirota and Giovanni Russonello

I've been chatting with piano player Ruslan Sirota, one of the nicest musicians ever, whose debut CD is being released this summer. Ruslan has been playing with Stanley Clarke (who produced the CD) for 4 years, and Clarke as well as Chick Corea guest on it.

My computer is currently a hot mess, and I can't watch videos on it. So I asked another new friend (and soon-to-be-partner on DCJazzShows) jazz writer Giovanni Russonello, to watch the video — a duet with Ruslan and Chick Corea, and share his thoughts. Here's Gio's response:
Yo Maryam,

So this video is pretty great. It's a simple acoustic piano duet between Ruslan and Chick Corea, and they definitely complement each other beautifully. Ruslan is a beautiful pianist, his playing not quite as intense as Chick's. He has the ability to imitate and echo Chick's signature style -- crackling and popping with excitement, notes like beads of water flying off a saucepan. But he calms things down too, sometimes even guiding Chick into a lower, more undulating pulse. All around, it's great shit -- you'd definitely know this was a Chick performance, even without the video, but Ruslan showcases his own abilities in both supporting and leading roles.

Here's the video:

Follow Ruslan Sirota on Twitter: @ruslanpiano

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Updates from Christian McBride

You probably already know about Christian McBride's new show on Sirius XM, which debuted April 3rd. From All About Jazz:
The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian, which will premiere on Saturday, April 3 at 1 pm ET as part of SIRIUS XM's celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, will be recorded in front of a live audience at various jazz clubs across the country and will feature onstage dialogues and musical duets between McBride and his special guest artists. The first episode, featuring legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea, was recorded at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.
Today, Christian told me that later this year he'll be releasing a CD of duets, and that of the 15 tracks on the CD, 13 have been recorded. The last two are top secret ;-)

This CD will feature duets with George Duke, Sting, Regina Carter, Chick Corea, Angelique Kidjo, Eddie Palmieri, Roy Hargrove and many others. Christian also told me he'll be releasing a recording of his big band, due out next year. Listening to Kind of Brown has me fiending for more music from Christian, and I'm so looking forward to these recordings.