Armen Donelian: Oasis




Armen Donelian (piano)


Oasis (Sunnyside SSC 4007)

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Armen Donelian (piano),

David Clark (bass), George Schuller (drums)


Composed by Armen Donelian


Recorded: Wilmington, VT, March 18, 2007


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Armen Donelian is not a familiar name in jazz, although those who have heard him play might wonder why. "Oasis" is his 11th release as a leader, and his impressive sideman credits include Mongo Santamaria, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D'Rivera, and Thomas Chapin. The medium-tempo title track, "Oasis," is a gracefully structured and thoughtful Donelian composition. His creative phrases are lucidly articulated, and his ample technique is used only to capture the harmonic essence of his theme, not to mindlessly hide any lack of inspiration. Donelian has an appealingly delicate touch, and his classical training and early studies with Richie Beirach helped develop his sensitive, reflective and openly expressive approach to tunes such as this. Clark and Schuller, his rhythm team for the past four years, support him skillfully and sympathetically, and Clark contributes a finely crafted solo of his own. Now in his late 50s, the New York- born pianist of Armenian descent is a rewarding listen. Sample Donelian you won't be disappointed.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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