Album Reviews

Eric Olsen & Lou Caimano

DYAD Plays Jazz Arias

Artist:     Eric Olsen & Lou Caimano

Album:     DYAD Plays Jazz Arias

Label:     Ringwood

Release Date:     09/14/2016

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Gershwin, Duke, Gil Evans… the group of jazz artists who have successfully blended the New World’s true musical gift to the Old World’s classical rep is a small, yet daunting, list. Now, add alto saxophonist Lou Caimano and pianist Eric Olsen, collectively known as DYAD, to that list.

This stately and absolutely robust collection of seven classical arias vibrates with an impeccable sense of immediacy and grace. Taken from the museum we too often condemn classical music to, DYAD fearlessly and imaginatively bebop these formidable operatic themes — Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Barber, each taken with improvisatory flair and soaring musicianship.

The album includes a cameo performance from trumpeter Randy Brecker (who has a particularly exuberant time on Mozart’s “Fin ch’han dal vino” from Don Giovanni) while tenor saxophonist Ted Nash adds delight and color to the waltz “The Flower Duet.” Guest appearances aside, Caimano and Olsen are the daring bright lights here. Deservedly so.

– Mike Jurkovic

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