Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bach doing bop. Beethoven and boogie. Debussy meets Duke.
Christopher Falter | Irmo, SC | 08/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On this album Johnny Costa demonstrates his pedigree in a most delightful way. You can clearly hear the influences of the classical masters in several of Costa's arrangements. Yet his jazz technique is stunning.In "Darktown Strutters Ball," Costa starts with an interesting boogie-woogie left hand that melds into a Tatum-like stride at times. In fact, his left hand carries the melodic load in "Cherokee" while he plays some interesting, rhythmic, dissonant chords with the right. Costa gives "Stella By Starlight" a beautiful ballad treatment that is reminiscent of Errol Garner. But my favorite is "Get Happy"; it's an exuberant rush of wonderful jazz ideas spinning out at an ear-popping pace.The fabulous thing about Costa's album is that no two songs sound the same. I *love* Oscar Peterson, but once I hear 5 seconds of one of his recordings, I know who's playing. By contrast, Costa draws from such a diverse wealth of musical ideas that every song is fresh. Yet his terrific technique and melodic sensibility shine through on each arrangement.It's clear that Costa's talent, innovative arrangements and eclectic style should have placed him at the very pinnacle of piano jazz. Because he preferred his family to the tours that sell albums, though, Costa toiled in relative obscurity on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood until the very end of his career. If you like piano jazz, do NOT miss out on this album. It is a gem!"
stephen g. knarr | crestwood, mo United States | 01/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an incredible album. All those years that I watched "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" with my kids, I always admired the pianist and his eloquent accompaniment. Never did I guess the true genius of Johnny Costa on the piano until I hear this album! For those Tatum lovers out there, Johnny Costa is as close as you'll come. While Peterson has the tremendous left hand and overall technique, his style is more chordal than Costa's. Costa has captured the essence of Tatum's stride piano style with the walking left hand and the rambling right hand solo counterpoint. Listening to this album made my hair stand on end. Costa is a true genius and tremendously underrated. Buy this album. If you're disappointed, I pity you!"