Dahveed Behroozi - Standard Fare

2023 U.S. CD release

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Pianist Dahveed Behroozi has long hoped to record a solo album of standards that have been ingrained well in his musical memory over the past two decades. His new recording, Standard Fare, allows Behroozi to showcase his own style through the prism these classics provide.

The music that has been developed into standards by generations of jazz musicians continues to inspire and challenge. A goal of many is to be able to interpret these well-known pieces in a cogent and unique fashion, highlighting an individual style of expression.

The West Coast based Behroozi maintains a wide-angled view of creative piano playing. He grew up listening to an array of classical music as a youngster, then discovered jazz as a teenager. Behroozi went on to study jazz piano with Fred Hersch at the Manhattan School of Music and contemporary classical piano with Ursula Oppens at Brooklyn College.

The breadth of interest and approach can be heard in how Behroozi approaches his music and that of others. His last recording, Echos, a trio recording with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Billy Mintz on Sunnyside, captured Behroozi’s sophisticated compositional style, along with his tremendous ability for group interplay. The thought of doing a solo album gestated for many years, as it was a goal that Behroozi hadn’t previously felt he was prepared for.

Behroozi is now ready and has the energy and courage to showcase his individuality on the instrument that is seemingly made for such explorations. For the recording, Behroozi didn’t want to have a preconceived program and approach. His goal was to embody all of his musical influences and range over his lifetime within these standards.

The standards he selected to record on his first solo album are songs that he has absorbed for years. The melodies and structures of these pieces have become entrenched in his musical recollection. With this second nature knowledge of the compositions, Behroozi can utilize and focus on elements of the works where he drifts through musical proximities that haven’t previously been explored, making the music creative, flowing and conversational.

The album was recorded in a prepared living room in San Jose, California on a Bosendorfer piano during the month of January 2023.

The recording begins with an intriguing take on Kern and Hammerstein’s “All the Things You Are,” where Behroozi intentionally eschews the melody to focus on the piece’s structure, allowing him to really stretch the song. Behroozi is a deep admirer of Cole Porter and added the great composer’s “I Love Paris” on a whim. This simple piece allows a lot of expression from its switch back and forth from major to minor tonalities, with added emphasis placed on the uplifting major sections.

Initially inspired by Keith Jarrett’s take, Behroozi plays Rodgers and Hart’s “With a Song In My Heart” in a mesmerizing rhapsodic, broken time. Porter’s “All of You” gets the most dramatic reinterpretation as it finds its way into the Romantic piano sphere of Schumann and Brahms, while Porter’s “Just One of Those Things” provides contrast with a more up tempo feel and rhythmic counterpoint. Brooks Bowman’s “East of The Sun” lends itself to a simple, ambient reading that blends into a more gospel/blues space after the head.

The profundity of Thelonious Monk’s music recently hit Behroozi, who took a deep dive into the piano great’s music. Behroozi plays “Round Midnight” in a sweeping, chromatic manner with shades of classical music. The Carmichael and Washington classic, “The Nearness of You,” floats beautifully as Behroozi tries to find a balance between the ballad’s sentimentality and unique expression. The recording concludes with a bright take of Monk’s “Trinkle Tinkle,” where Behroozi stays true to the melody but finds freedom in Monk’s piece by departing from the author’s strict harmony.

Dahveed Behroozi’s first solo recording, Standard Fare, is an exploration through the dimensions of his favorite standard compositions. 


SKU 016728168922
Barcode # 016728168922
Brand Sunnyside Records

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