Eldar | Virtue (Coming Aug. 25th, 2009)




Sony Masterworks is pleased to announce the release of Virtue, a new recording from jazz keyboard virtuoso Eldar, on August 25.  His fourth album on Sony Masterworks, Virtue affirms his position at the forefront of contemporary jazz and is a fitting follow-up to his 2008 Grammy-nominated album, re-imagination.

by bassist Armando Gola and Ludwig Afonso, Virtue features mostly
original compositions by Eldar and demonstrates the continued
development of his writing.   Eldar also welcomes guest appearances by
trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonists Joshua Redman and Felipe

re-imagination, Alex Miller, General Manager at Sony Masterworks,
observes that Virtue “implements the same creative freedoms but in a
new way. Eldar’s band approached the studio with compositions fully
formed, an esprit de corps that enlivens each song, and a balance
between assertiveness and sensitivity that only maturity brings.

maturity belies the fact that even after making a sensational first
impression with the release of his debut album nine years ago, Eldar is
still just 22 years old. His prodigious gifts were evident from
childhood and Virtue balances
exhilarating youthful energy with a new found sophistication and depth
of reflection that mirrors his personal and creative growth.

so proud of this album, more so than any I’ve done so far,” he insists.
“In many ways, you could think of it as a soundtrack to my direct
experiences since I’ve moved to New York City.”

been three years since he relocated from Los Angeles and began
processing the stimuli that his new home provided. The outcome on Virtue
is at the same time adventurous and accessible. Its individual tracks
combine to create an impression as complex as an urban skyline, through
which Eldar and his group channel their ideas, challenging each other
through interactions as alive as the rush of humanity through city

the start, Eldar took an experimental approach to this project. “I came
up with intricate frameworks but allowed it to expand in a rhapsodic
way,” he explains. “That means I didn’t limit myself. I didn’t write
with any idea of form, like A-A-B-A. Instead, I set my goals and
priorities, priorities by experimenting with harmonic movements,
melodic ideas, and rhythmic codes. Through this, I was able to shape
and develop these ideas which eventually became the basis for the
compositions for this album.”

After laying the compositional foundation of Virtue,
Eldar brought Gola and Afonso into the mix. Immediately, they made
themselves integral to the album’s ongoing conception. “Their musical
priorities were similar to mine,” he says. “When we started rehearsing,
the music became our bond. We started having ideas together, so the
process of development began taking place within the band.”

important, they established an intuitive communication that was
critical to transforming those ideas into compelling performances.
Eventually they reached a point where, as Eldar puts it, “we all feel
like we know where this train is going. We listen constantly to each
other as we play. If somebody goes in an unexpected direction, we don’t
go against him; we move and breathe together. We rely on each other. It
comes from following our impulses rather than ‘reading’ this note at
that exact time.

in Kyrgyzstan and raised in Kansas City, Eldar started playing jazz
festivals before the age of ten (in what was then the Soviet Union). 
In 1998, he and his family emigrated to the United States and resettled
in Kansas City.  He became the youngest guest ever to appear on Marian
McPartland’s Piano Jazz.  Later, he pursued advanced study at the
Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and
eventually began enjoying a career that has seen him in performances
throughout the United States, Europe, Indonesia, Japan and South

national television shows fill his calendar, with highlights including
a performance at last year’s Grammy Awards telecast, the first time in
many years a jazz artist was so honored, and the second time for such
an appearance.   Eldar has also been seen on Conan O’Brian, CBS
Saturday Early Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS Sunday Morning.  2009 is
a busy year for the artist with sets booked throughout the United
States and Europe.

Eldar Headlines at The Highline Ballroom

Monday June 22, 8:00 pm

Eldar, piano
Armando Gola, bass
Ludwig Afonso, drums

Highline Ballroom
431 W. 16th St
New York, NY 10011
phone: 212.414.5994

For more background and upcoming activities, visit www.eldarjazz.com

Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway
and Masterworks Jazz are labels of Sony Masterworks.  For email updates
and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche
harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz artists,
promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit www.sonymasterworks.com.

DL Media