Michael Le Van | Hands On

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United States - California - LA

Other Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Featuring Piano
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Hands On

by Michael Le Van

A stellar live performance by one of Southern California's most exciting jazz piano talents.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stella by Starlight
5:52 $0.99
2. Lush Life
5:00 $0.99
3. Coral
3:21 $0.99
4. 'Round Midnight
4:55 $0.99
5. Spartacus
5:30 $0.99
6. Song for Helen
4:12 $0.99
7. Knit for Mary
6:30 $0.99
8. Willow Weep For Me
5:42 $0.99
9. Shoah
4:10 $0.99
10. Blue Nocturne
7:13 $0.99
11. In a Sentimental Mood
5:15 $0.99
12. Take the A Train
1:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This live performance is programatically like a wine tasting. The two tracks that bear Billy Strayhorn's label display the spectrum of his varietal grapes, "Lush Life" (a very good year, written when Billy was 16) to a saucy after dinner signoff with a cork-popping, homeward bound "Take the 'A' Train." The somelier's selection of Strayhorn's frequent collaborator, Duke Ellington, is "In a Sentimental Mood".

...When the pianist uncorks his own compositions, you hope that he will spend more time writing. The haunting refrain of "Blue Nocturne" beckons an eyes-closed, pictorial reverie. "Song for Helen" has an evocative nose and strong legs, bestowing an intimate sip of a grandson's unique relationship to a captivating woman. Despite the fact the he never got to share this toast with her, you can hear his grandmother's smile laced through the tender melody.

-Cathy L. Jensen, L.A. Jazz Scene



to write a review

Bob Rogers

While Michael's other jazz CDs produce swinging enjoyment for most contemporary jazzophiles, this earlier solo excursion allows this very talented pianist the freedom to explore without restrictions, format, or script. Michael's focus is on chord structure, evident throughout each piece but especially the first two tracks where he treats us to Stella By Starlight and Lush Life versions not only harmonically rich but with solo melodic runs reminiscent of a Keith Jarrett near-freeform jazz style. To get a better appreciation of Michael's later CD performances, I highly recommend listening to Hands On first.