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Reviews: Austin Peralta: Mantra

Reviews: 3

Review by JW October 2, 2007 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Almost 16 and then coming up with an album like this. Pretty impressive. It would be all too easy to dismiss this as just a virtuoso pianist without the life experience to create an album with 'soul'. I guess that to a certain extend this has to be true. But Peralta adds four of his own compositions to the 5 jazz standards. He says they are intended as a suite. He also plays Kalimba - basically a sound box with metal keys attached to the top to give the different notes, aka African Thumb Piano. This album further features Marcus Strickland on sax and Steve Nelson on vibes, as well as Ronald Bruner Jr on bass.

I had never heard of Austin Peralta, but I heard of Buster Williams (See my review elsewhere here of his excellent SA-CD 'Griot Liberte') and I also dig the Japanese '88' Label of which I have quite a few discs. So when I stumbled across the eBay auction I took a flyer and got it - I was lucky, there were no bidders. I very much doubt whether Austin's relative obscurity will last. In 2003 he won the Shelly Manne New Talent Award (issued by the Los Angeles Jazz Society).

Austin Peralta is said to be a stylistically influenced by McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. The tone on this album is modern and melodic and it has an infectious enthusiasm and energy, especially in his own compositions. There is no indication one listens to a 16 year old. The piano playing is very self-assured and top notch as far as I can tell. He definitely sounds very mature on Charles Mingus' ballad 'Goodbye'.

Soundwise this follows the tradition of the other '88' DSD recordings. Crystal clear and natural sounding piano. Nice full bass. Wonderful tone to the vibes. The cymbals are a jtouch too tizzy in my opinion.

The execution of these JSACD's is excellent with nice photo's and artwork and a high-gloss digipak.


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Review by Barb November 18, 2007 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A. Peralta p, B. Williams b, R. Bruner Jr. ds, M. Strickland ts & ss, S. Nelson vib, Eighty-Eights 2006.
If the young guy on the cover-photos is Mr. Peralta then we have a new very, very young and very talented pianist and composer on the jazz scene. He looks like a teenager! He wrote four of the nine tunes, three of them being high speed tracks demonstrating the impetuous energy of the young man. But he is also able to play with depth and feeling when grasping hymns like Goobye Pork Pie Hat, All The Things You Are or Afro Blue and making them his own. He is accompanied by the great Buster Williams and another three superb musicians. I wonder how the youngster`s got that managed. Strickland and Nelson play some exciting solos and the interplay is perfect and so we`ve got a disc full of modern jazz with great intense.
Unfortunately, on most tracks the drum-kit sounds too sharp and edgy and dominant, destroying the very good overall sound to some extent. I wonder how this could have happened to the Suzukis, whose recording and mastering is very, very good, usually.

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Review by stef40 May 21, 2008 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
this young pianist is amazing, after his first opus, he brings another "facette" of his huge talent.The sound is very good except the drums mixing.

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