Mitchel Forman: What a Wonderful World


What a Wonderful World


Mitchel Forman (piano)


Perspectives (Marsis Jazz MJ0601)

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Mitchel Forman (piano).

Composed by Bob Thiele & George Weiss


Recorded: Simi Valley, CA, August 2005


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

Mitchel Forman is one of the most inventive and skilled jazz pianists around. He plays with a deep natural instinct that allows him to get to the very core of each tune. You could first hear this way back in the early 1980s on his solo piano masterpiece Only a Memory. He is a remarkably gifted composer and a first-rate improviser and interpreter of other people's music as well.

Forman's solo take on "What a Wonderful World" is beautiful and touching. His empathetic playing focuses on the hopeful aspects of the tune while not ignoring its wistfulness. Forman delves into the nooks and crannies of this classic to expose the emotions that lie just below the surface. A well-placed accent or a carefully held note can convey just as much emotion as any word could. In that sense, Forman's playing speaks volumes. If this performance doesn't move you, I am glad I don't know you.

Forman's own fruitful solo career and outstanding work over the years with John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny and many others should compel investigations into the whole of his impressive discography. "What a Wonderful World" would not be a bad place to start.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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