Personnel: Martin Bejerano (piano); Martin Bejerano; Edward Perez (bass instrument); Ludwig Afonso (drums).
Liner Note Author: Thomas Conrad.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (10/22/2006).
Authors: Roy Haynes; Russell Malone.
Photographer: Abigail Feldman.
Martin Bejerano had only made appearances as a sideman with Roy Haynes and Russell Malone prior to making his debut recording as a leader, and it serves as an impressive introduction to his work. Joined by two musicians, bassist Edward Perez and drummer Ludwig Alfonso, with whom he had never played before aside from a few rehearsals, things obviously came together very quickly for the young pianist and his rhythm section. Bejerano's jaw-dropping opener is "Blues Evolution," a rapid-fire virtuoso bop vehicle worthy of comparison to Bud Powell when he was at the top of his game. He also offers a fresh interpretation of Powell's "Bouncing with Bud" that maintains its playful spirit while adding a few new wrinkles. Bejerano is equally at home in ballads, setting up "You Don't Know What Love Is" with a moody vamp that has a pastoral flavor and terrific support from Perez and Alfonso. His take of "Lover Man" is equally impressive, evolving from an understated, poignant solo introduction into a swinging cooker that never loses sight of the melody. Bejerano's intricate reworking of Miles Davis' "Solar" and delightful solo romp through Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Dream" also pass muster with flying colors. "Blues Revolution," another original, offers additional proof that this promising young pianist is not just the latest hotshot showing off his technique, but a mature pianist who can develop his ideas into performances that will stand the test of time. ~ Ken Dryden
JazzTimes (p.71) - "Bejerano goes it alone for a risky unaccompanied take of 'Monk's Dream,' where he plays with more authority than ever....What a debut."
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