Cyrus Chestnut: Don't Be Cruel


Don't Be Cruel


Cyrus Chestnut (piano)


Cyrus Plays Elvis (Koch 4238)

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Cyrus Chestnut (piano),

Dezron L. Douglas (bass), Neal Smith (drums)


Composed by Otis Blackwell


Recorded: CD released in 2007


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

As a youngster, Elvis Presley soaked up the African-American music that was part of the soundscape of his hometown, Tupelo, Mississippi. But jazz players have rarely returned the favor. He may be "The King" in the eyes of masses, but for your local neighborhood bebopper, Presley is only another attendant lord, or maybe even just a great pretender to the throne. Cyrus Chestnut steps in to rectify matters with a whole CD devoted to Elvis. But he takes Mr. Presley on a roller coaster ride. Chestnut gives me a head fake at the start -- I think he is jumping into "Willow Weep for Me," but instead he moves (ever so briefly) into a finger-poppin' Elvis groove. The bass solo follows, and we are now far away from anything heard inside the walls of Graceland. When Chestnut comes back, he is more Monk-ish than a whole monastery of cenobites. They should change the name of this song to "Well You Needn't Be Cruel."

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


  • 1 katherine // Jan 17, 2008 at 12:49 AM
    i am an arican american person and i just want to say that your music is so talented and beatiful!
  • 2 arican american // Feb 22, 2008 at 01:37 PM
    i loov this song