Criss Cross Jazz 1329 CD

Peter Beets

Chopin Meets The Blues

Available: September 21, 2010

Chopin melodies used as a basis for jazz improvisation? In the wrong hands, the results could be truly catastrophic. Yet it’s a notion with great appeal for celebrated Dutch piano marvel Peter Beets.

“Why, melodic embellishment is at the heart of everything that Chopin wrote!’ enthuses Peter. “In fact, he was composing tunes ideal for bebop, although he couldn’t have known it at the time.”

It’s a happy coincidence that the fifth Criss Cross CD under Beets’ leadership arrives during the bicentennial year of Chopin’s birth. But it’s clearly not a project haphazardly thrown together at the last moment. Instead, Peter recruited three of New York’s premier jazzmen – guitarist Joe Cohn, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson – as co-conspirators.

Together, this quartet wrings extraordinary measures of beauty, excitement and yes, fun from eight of Chopin’s most memorable pieces. Their collaboration is, in a word, breathtaking.

Peter Beets
Barcode 8 712474 132928
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1. Nocturne in Eb Major, Opus 9 #2 (Frederic Chopin)  10:04
2. Nocturne in F Minor, Opus 55 #1 (1) (Frederic Chopin)  7:39
3. Mazurka in A Minor, Opus 17 #4 (Frederic Chopin)  8:25
4. Prelude in B Minor, Opus 28 #6 (Frederic Chopin)  7:04
5. Prelude in E Minor, Opus 28 #4 (Frederic Chopin)  5:35
6. Nocturne in B Major, Opus 9 #3 (Frederic Chopin)  7:35
7. Waltz in C# Minor, Opus 64 #2 (Frederic Chopin)  7:15
8. Nocturne in F Minor, Opus 55 #1 (2) (Frederic Chopin)  7:20

Total Time: 61:03
Recorded November 9, 2009 in Brooklyn, NY, USA by Michael Marciano