Picks and Pans Review: The Dark Before the Dawn

updated 04/03/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Cyrus Chestnut

When Chestnut lays hands on the piano, he is capable of working musical miracles. Whether diving into the finger-lickin' blues of "Wright's Rolls and Butter" or using the theme from J.S. Bach's "Invention in D Minor" as a takeoff point for the gospel-tinged "Baroque Impressions," the 33-year-old reveals an orchestral command of the keyboard and a sophisticated sense of swing. And Chestnut is possessed by a spirit of joy. For this sequel to his major-label debut, Revelation, one of the best jazz recordings released last year, he is joined by bassist Steve Kirby and drummer Clarence Penn. The buoyant rapport of the trio is especially evident on the title track, where Chestnut lightly evokes the reverential sense of peace before the bustle of a new day. (Atlantic Jazz)

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