Mitchel Forman - Perspectives

November 2006

mitchel formanWhen you listen to music from pianist & composer Mitchel Forman’s point of view, you get many Perspectives and his curriculum vitae boasts a body of work with a who’s who in the industry: be it gigs as sideman to contemporary jazz greats Rick Braun and BWB, work with modern jazz masters Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Wayne Shorter, or co-leader of the 4-man band Metro (with Chuck Loeb).  Forman has a lot to offer and his new CD, Perspectives, (released on the Marsis Jazz label) has it all.   From unique originals to covers with his touch, these tracks are complex, fluid and prime for your playlist!

Not only does the multi-talented Forman perform on acoustic and electric keys, he also provides the work on sequencing, guitar, as well as, snare drum and accompanying him are the very capable Trey Henry (bass), Ray Brinker (drums), Munyungo Jackson (percussion), as well as Jeff Richman (guitar) & Wolfgang Haffner (drums) on the first piece, Dolphin Dance (written by Herbie Hancock).  You’ll immediately be struck by Forman’s remarkable piano work and the range of his talent continues with each and every track.  Chick Corea fans will love his upbeat interpretation of You’re Everything.  The electric keys catch the exhilarating spirit and complex structure of the original.  While Face on the Barroom Floor (composed by Wayne Shorter), is a traditional gem showing off an ensemble that really knows how to play in the space!  Then listen up for his blues-infused, toe-tappin’ excursion on the great bassist Ron Carter’s tune, First Trip.

Let Yaqui Indian Folk Song, a beautiful piece adapted by Keith Jarrett, entrance you with its gorgeous acoustic piano melody…soothing and hypnotic, go ahead…hit the repeat button a few times.  After that, take in Forman’s interpretation of Jarrett’s tune Blossom, where the melodic use of electric and acoustic keyboards is quite extraordinary.  Then personalizing a couple of Lennon/McCartney classics, you’ll enjoy Forman’s version of Michelle and you won’t recognize it straight away.  Truly amazing considering the scope of this song!  While his take on Here There & Everywhere is an acoustically-laidback, blues-tinged affair.    

From Forman’s pen to your ears, his composition, Milton is an original and the songwriting skills are impressive.  He displays a maturity that catches the inflections of emotion and translates them into an upbeat piece honoring Milton Nascimento

Performed in grand style, don’t miss the Louis Armstrong classic, What A Wonderful World.  It’s just Forman on piano, and it’s truly breathtaking!  He revisits the song later as if in a dream to re-title it A Wonderful World (Not), adding a little grit and closing out a phenomenal set.  His style throughout the project is so comprehensive and when the stories are good, they need to be told.  Trust me…there are plenty of them on Mitchel Forman’s new CD Perspectives!



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-D.J. Fazio