Ehud Asherie | Shuffle Along

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Ehud Asherie

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United States - New York

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Jazz: Piano Jazz Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Shuffle Along

by Ehud Asherie

Music from the 1921 Broadway production performed brilliantly by Ehud Asherie at they Steinway.
Genre: Jazz: Piano Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Gypsy Blues
4:52 $0.99
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2. I'm Just Wild About Harry
4:32 $0.99
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3. Everything Reminds Me of You
5:28 $0.99
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4. I'm Cravin' for That Kind of Love
5:01 $0.99
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5. Bandana Days
3:47 $0.99
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6. I'm Just Wild About Harry (Waltz)
4:41 $0.99
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7. If You've Never Been Vamped by a Brownskin
3:19 $0.99
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8. Goodnight Angeline
4:10 $0.99
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9. Love Will Find a Way
4:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Many people may never sit through KING LEAR or read ULYSSES, never see a Sargent painting or listen to a Bach cello suite, but they will give such works of art nominal respect as “masterworks.” But when those same people evaluate what we loosely term “popular culture,” anything older than last week is dead, to be discarded.

Ehud Asherie knows better. The compositions he reimagines on this disc come from 1921, which might make their pages properly consigned to attics and basements. Yet in his hands their notes and harmonies are vividly alive. He understands that one honors timeless music by vigorously investigating it. These songs were once innovative so they can be shaken up, explored once again. How fitting that these melodies come from a Broadway musical, revolutionary in its time, SHUFFLE ALONG, written by Eubie Blake (music) and Noble Sissle (lyrics) with an all-black cast.

Ehud says, “Eubie Blake’s songs are amazingly fresh, even though they are almost one hundred years old. They are harmonically very open, creating a lot of room for musicians to play in. He was writing before jazz got really codified, so his music has none of the clichés we know. There are so many great tunes, as good as the more common standards, and I’m trying to bring some of them to light.”

From the first notes of GYPSY BLUES, it’s clear that Ehud is a masterful pianist and improviser. His progression from phrase to phrase, from chorus to chorus, is always satisfying, with everything building gracefully so that the result is compositionally pleasing. He is essentially playful, but nothing is inserted merely for effect. When the music calls for it, Ehud plays with astonishing speed and dexterity, but his skills are always in the service of the music, not to impress audiences hungry for Fast and Loud. Aside from the first blistering HARRY, the swinging Frolics on this disc are at tempos one could dance to or pat a foot to. If you can hear I’M CRAVIN’ FOR THAT KIND OF LOVE while sitting unmoving in your chair, at the very least you need a new chair.

Ehud’s touch is in itself delightful; every note rings without being brittle. And his sound and approach are warm. His lyrical music welcomes us, rather than holding us at arm’s length, “Are you truly postmodern enough for my sharp-edged abstractions?”

Ehud is a genius of the nearly lost art of the Saunter. Listen to the first seconds of this disc and relax into his joyous swinging heartbeat. Hearing him, I envision someone who’s on the way to meet The Loved One for a good dinner or a kiss in the park. The sun shines but not too brightly. He can be jaunty (the first version of HARRY) and poignant (LOVE WILL FIND A WAY) and he’s not trapped in 4 / 4 (hear HARRY as a waltz, hints of tango in BROWNSKIN, ANGELINE as a tenderly swaying bossa nova). And although his playing is never ostentatiously comic, there’s a witty lightness is at its center. He wants us to be uplifted, and we are.

Ehud’s studied the jazz piano tradition, and keyboard fetishists can spend an evening with this disc, playing their own version of Trivial Pursuit, shouting out “Teddy Wilson!” “Bud Powell!” “Tatum!” “Cliff Jackson!” when they think they hear an Influence or a Resemblance, but such shouting would obscure the beautiful music. These performances have their own vivid life: they aren’t period-precise recreations “in the style of.” Here’s music in the moment yet for all time.

I played this CD for a young jazz musician without identifying Ehud or Eubie. “Wow, what a pianist!” was his first reaction, then “Are those his originals? Those are great songs.” When I told him that the music had been written in 1921, he refused to believe it. “I’ve heard that old music, and this doesn’t sound old.” I don’t think it ever will.

For nearly a decade, I’ve been savoring Ehud’s art, ever since musicians I respected told me that he was both genuine and deep. (They were right.) At his recent performances, he’s offered selections from this score, and I’ve hoped he would record his improvisations on these songs. The result is even better than I’d imagined it. Several of these forgotten songs have become new friends. What better tribute to the durability of the compositions and the beauty of Ehud’s interpretations?

We can make sure that the treasures of past generations are never relegated to the museum by refusing to treat them as relics. Then, we open the door to new surprises, to glorious inventions. Ehud Asherie creates music that honors its composers but also sounds so fresh and personal that we’re simply wild about him.

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Juerg Sommer (a Swiss Sunday newspaper recommendation)

Tausendsassa auf 88 Tasten
Der israelische Pianist Ehud Asherie (geb. 1979) emigrierte in jungen Jahren nach New York. Verblüffend allemal, welch breite Palette an stilistischen Ausdrucksmitteln er beherrscht, vom Stride eines James P. Johnson über Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Bud Powells Bebop hin zu Hank Jones’ Mainstream. In der Solo-CD „Shuffle Along“ reanimiert Asherie das erste „Black Musical“ des Autorenteams Eubie Blake (Komponist) und Noble Sissle (Texter) von anno 1921. Neun zeitlose Songs, pfiffig und elegant swingend präsentiert.
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