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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Unlike his compatriot, classical pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, who is two years his senior, Giorgi Mikadze has not chosen to emphasize his plasticity as much as his virtuosity. This CD, which he recorded in France (and as far as this is concerned he is close to Miss Buniatishvili), is therefore best appreciated with the ears.

Trained in the Russian school and thus endowed with a solid classical background, the Georgian pianist has chosen to devote himself to jazz, and here makes his first recording in the canonical and rather cluttered format of the trio with bass and drums. Let’s face it: this trio sets an impressive standard right from the start, with three compositions by the leader, the rest of the repertoire consisting of themes by Georgian composers who like to draw their inspiration from local folklore.

The first thing that stands out on this CD is the liveliness of the abundant, often percussive piano playing, where virtuosity is never a pretext for technical demonstration, but is always placed at the service of radiant musicality. Having chosen two partners characterized by their mastery of their instruments, Mikadze has no difficulty in displaying an aesthetic in which he can indulge in all manner of daring, and in which the interplay between the three partners is constantly stimulating. The classical background is never intrusive here, but manifests itself in, among other things, a sumptuous touch, a phrasing of sovereign ease and a constant taste for melody that works wonders on the ballads.

This is a musician in full possession of his abilities, driven by a clear and personal vision of the music he intends to propose. We can only fully endorse this approach and look forward to the follow-up Giorgi Mikadze and his two colleagues will give to this first recording on stage and in the studio.

Line Up:

Giorgi Mikadze: piano

François Moutin: double bass

Raphaël Pannier: drums

Face to Face was released by Peewee on January 26, 2024.

It i a Hit Couleurs Jazz and selected in the Best of the Month (january 2024)

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