The Virtue of Music
A Moment in Jazz Music

Eldar made waves in the jazz scene as a teenager and released critically appreciated albums informed by disparate musical tastes. His recent endeavor, Virtue, exemplifies this and showcases his talented keyboard skills. Recalling the works of Art Tatum, Chick Corea, Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson, Eldar discusses his career, his plans for the future and his love for jazz music.

Jeff Boyce: How is it like being signed to Sony Masterworks and why?
Eldar: The people that I work with have an open mind. They are supportive, professional, and creative. Many of them have become my friends. The record label has a great history of music covering many musical directions and artists. I'm very happy to be working with Sony Masterworks.

What do you hope for your audience to gain listening to the recent Virtue CD?
I hope that the music brings the listeners positive energy and perhaps enhances a moment or a memory in the their lives.

Tell us what made this current release different for you compared to your previous work?
Virtue is a recent culmination of many things that I have been striving to achieve in the last few years. It marks a new chapter for me in perception, composition, performance, and musicality. I wrote half of the material before building the trio, and the other half during the first six months of our touring and rehearsing. By the time the band got in the studio, the band was confident in the music that we were recording. The recording process was also a creative task because the color of the music needed to match the message of the compositions and group interplay. To this date, Virtue is something that I'm the most proud of.

Are there any other artists that you would like to collaborate with?
I have a pretty long list of artists that I would like to collaborate with. I have been fortunate to have collaborated with many already. I look forward to more of these in the future.

Who do you believe are the Top 5 jazz keyboardists of all time?
Not in any particular order of preference: Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Phineas Newborn, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Chick Corea. Each of these musicians has a special truth in their music. I've learned something valuable from each of these musicians.

Where does you love of jazz come from?
My father was a huge jazz fan. During the times of the Soviet Union, jazz records were illegal. Regardless of the difficulty, he acquired hundreds of jazz records over a span of three decades of his life. He loved listening to music, and by the time I was born, he shared the music with me.

Tell us where you see jazz music going in the future?

Jazz is going in a few different directions. People have their differences, and their similarities... I do hear originality and truth... I'm excited to see how the music unfolds. The most important thing to me as an artist is to make music that is a reflection of my personality, my lifestyle, the times that I live in, and my direct experiences.

by Jeff Boyce