Elliott Jacqués – Finding Beauty (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Elliott Jacqués – Finding Beauty (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 49:47 minutes | 880 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Decca (UMO) (Classics)

Elliott Jacqués had an unlikely career change: he was one of Britain’s rising jazz stars until he took a U-turn into modern classical music and unexpectedly found himself at the top. His 2021 track Kaleidoscope reached number one on Spotify’s Peaceful Piano playlist, with its 6.5 million listeners, and remained in the chart for eight months; With additional incredible support over the years from Apple Music, Amazon Music and Deezer, he can now claim over 70 million streams for his self-released songs. This shift – from the cerebral, competitive world of jazz to the meditative space of ambient piano – inspired his debut album Finding Beauty. “I wanted to take a step back and return to the simple melodies that first got me into music,” he says. “It feels so liberating – I almost forgot what it does for your soul. I love the intellect of jazz but I felt that I needed to come back to a more simple form of expression.”

Jacqués is doing something new with the genre: his song-form compositions are injected with colourful jazz chords and harmonic direction, less minimalist than much modern classical piano and more emotive in performance. He approaches his songs as if they were standards, with melodies inspired by show tunes and the Great American Songbook. There are countless influences at play, from Duke Ellington to Debussy, Frederic Mompou to Michel Legrand and the Carpenters – but they are worn so lightly. His closely-miked Yamaha YUS5 is so hushed and intimate, you can hear the hammers hitting the felt.

Jacqués, born Elliott Jack Sansom in Solihull in 1994, has a wry sense of humour and already wears years of musical experience. You grow up fast in jazz: he was a finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year in 2016 while still at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where he played with jazz greats such as Stan Sulzmann and Norma Winstone. He toured with Clark Tracey – son of the legend Stan – and studied in Paris, where he played with the drummer Jimmy Cobb, who featured on A Kind Of Blue. He also had his own trio, and the touring was endless: Trondheim Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scotts, the Albert Hall… “It’s not that I’d had enough of it, but it was getting a bit full-on and avant-garde,” he says. “I was quite out-there harmonically. So it’s quite a switch from burning jazz to Peaceful Piano…”

Tracklist:
1-1. Elliott Jacqués – A New Day (02:58)
1-2. Elliott Jacqués – Forever (03:30)
1-3. Elliott Jacqués – Song For Katie (02:26)
1-4. Elliott Jacqués – Dance Of The Butterfly (02:59)
1-5. Elliott Jacqués – Sunday Morning (02:14)
1-6. Elliott Jacqués – Window Rain (03:09)
1-7. Elliott Jacqués – Eva’s Quest (02:33)
1-8. Elliott Jacqués – Symonds Yat (04:13)
1-9. Elliott Jacqués – When The Night Falls (02:43)
1-10. Elliott Jacqués – Night Dance (02:02)
1-11. Elliott Jacqués – Reflections (02:56)
1-12. Elliott Jacqués – The Secret Garden (03:59)
1-13. Elliott Jacqués – Alone In Paris (02:19)
1-14. Elliott Jacqués – Finding Beauty (02:43)
1-15. Elliott Jacqués – Homebound (03:02)
1-16. Elliott Jacqués – Melody To Freedom (03:23)
1-17. Elliott Jacqués – Afterthought (02:29)

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