- Created: Sunday, 03 January 2021 19:14
The January, 2021 issue of The New York City Jazz Record features a music review written by Jazz author, poet and musician John Pietaro of Andy Wasserman's PoleStar live stream solo piano concert (December 13, 2020), appearing in the NY@Night section alongside other concert reviews of Eddie Palmieri, Christian McBride and Matthew Shipp on page 5. The NYC Jazz Record is the city's only homegrown gazette devoted to the music world of Jazz.
The PoleStar concert consisted entirely of original compositions, presented with the intention to uplift and inspire the listener in relation to the themes of the light emanating from a guiding star in the sky in conjunction with the internal light deep within the heart. Compositions presented are:
Here's the review as it appears in the magazine, followed by the text-only version:
During the pandemic, pianist Andy Wasserman has been presenting regular live-stream concerts with one ear toward the therapeutic, healing qualities of music. His latest (Dec. 13th) was dedicated to northern Pole Stars; for astronomy-leaning jazzbos, these are currently Polaris and Polaris Australis. Wasserman produced forays into the bright, the glimmering, the burning, the clouded-over, icy and distant, with use of falling phrases over shifting, widely gripped harmonies as well as blues-drenched, ringing major sevenths, ninths and elevenths. But this was far from what we used to call ‘new age’ music. “Togetherness”, a slow, meandering work, conjured thoughts of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock. While feelings of unity can be subjective, the rolling complexities in Wasserman’s works are beautifully, almost mystically woven together. More so, much of the pianist’s repertoire is built on his mastery of George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (indeed, Wasserman was certified by Russell to teach it). “Ataraxia” offered the most profound modal quality, leaving the listener with that odd feeling of hollowness that arises with such tonalities. This piece also carried a motive nothing short of haunting in its reach for simplicity. Other works incorporated lonesome, roving basslines opposite right-hand postmodern jazz, one inspired by Eric Dolphy’s iconic postcard to Russell proclaiming that he’s working on “the new concept, but with an outward-bound feeling.” (written by John Pietaro)
Learn more about the music from the POLESTAR live stream concert and hear the tracks on a new 2021 album on major streaming and digital music download platforms at these links:
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