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A pianist with a crystalline touch, but a penchant for avant gardism.
Precious few listeners are aware of Armen Donelian. A tremendously talented pianist who has never had a major label signing nor has attached his name to a legend or star of some sort, Donelian has quietly created a body of work that at the very least is consistent, at best exhilarating. Donelian provides a constant stream of ideas and beauty that is hard to deny.
Armen Donelian is another of those great unsung jazz piano heroes who has lived in New York for a couple of decades.
Pianist Armen Donelian is a veteran whose credentials have never been in doubt: he first appeared on record a quarter century ago and has recently led a string of solid discs. Mark Armen Donelian on your list of musicians to watch.
On his recent Mystic Heights, he applies that same balance
[as on Wave] between tension and release to a program of sensitive
Donelian's sense of touch and control is astonishing. His melodies emerge from the keyboard as if magically summoned, and his harmonies and multiple reharmonizations are full of profound depth and insight.
On the pianist's recent album, Wave (Sunnyside), Armen Donelian has pared down his considerable technique in favor of a dramatic lyricism that, in pieces as old-hat as All of Me and as unlikely as Our Day Will Come and a couple of Beatles ballads, he sustains with controlled and expressive poetry.
Donelian’s technique and interpretation are superb and made a deep impression on Armenian Jazz fans.
Donelian mesmerized the audience.
Donelian’s mastery of writing for small group is startling... exceptional...a provocative modernist.
One of the great unsung piano trio recordings of the 80’s... strongly recommended, especially to those who favor piano trios.
A masterpiece...an open door to evolutionary jazz.
One can tell it’s a master’s work. His music talks to us of things to come.
Smooth, harmonically sophisticated solos.
Donelian is a crisp, harmonically oriented pianist whose fleet attack sets the standard for the rest of the quartet. He’s a distinctive stylist.
His playing is a revelation. Harmonic intricacies open up all sorts of possibilities, yet he’s always there with just the right note or voicing of a chord when needed.
A strongly individual identity...Donelian’s work subsumes the passion of Chick Corea, the rigor of Richie Beirach, and Bill Evans’ ascetic romanticism.
Armen Donelian immediately proved himself a virtuoso... he played hard-edged, exclamatory chords offset by lightly sounded lines that seemed weightless by comparison.
He spun out a melodic spiderweb that entranced the audience completely.
His flexibility should extend in several directions.