Though I am usually turned off by women musicians who tend to dress way too sexy for their roles, particularly in the classical world, I do tend, in the long run, to judge them by their ability as players. I really prefer not to have to see this underdressed ideal of womanhood because I don’t understand why it’s necessary or what it could possibly have to do with the music presented, or for that matter, their possible talent. Are they perhaps trying to sell their SEX as part of the package as an extra enticement, in case their abilities fail them?
But every now and then while listening to one of these people, trying my best not to be distracted by this seeming “shortcoming,” I am overwhelmed nonetheless by their talent. Such is the case with Tania Stavreva, who, despite her sexy luxuriating atop the piano on the jacket of her debut CD, Rhythmic Movement, proves to be a formidable and accomplished pianist/composer.
The program she chooses consists mostly of works by herself, Pancho Vladigerov and Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera, an artist whose work I know very little of but that I’m always thrilled to hear. There is also a folk tune both sung and played by Stavreva, along with works by other composers all of whom are new to me. I find the CD exhilarating, exciting, poignant, intense, tender, and surprisingly swinging. There are references to Gershwin and, whether intentional or not, many time signatures that relate to the iconic tune “Take Five.” We go in one minute from an exhaustive power to clear, sweet engagement.
I would recommend this CD to folks equally afraid of adventure as they might be adventurous. Saturate yourself in all its abrupt and sudden changes and subtle yet swift nuances and the journey will be a pleasantly rocky exaltation. - Steve Dalachinsky
Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Dalachinsky is a writer, poet, and jazz expert. He's released numerous collections of his poetry, including the PEN award winning The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse) and a 2008 collaboration with Matthew Shipp, Logos and Language: A Post-Jazz Metaphorical Dialogue (Rogueart).