JOEY ALEXANDER TRIO AT CITY WINERY, FRI.MARCH 24, 2017
BY MAJA RIOS FOR UNRATED MAGAZINE
Joey Alexander absolutely lived up to his title of child prodigy. The 13 year - old jazz piano sensation, from Indonesia, played to a packed house of age and ethnic diversity at the beautiful, City Winery in Chicago. Small in stature but big in chops, rhythmic and emotional intensity and dynamics, he played better than pianists much older and more seasoned.
Beginning with original compositions and a Happy Birthday song tribute to his mentor, his father,
whom he said offered him great support for his artistry and to pursue a career in music. Evidence was the first piece he played, incorporated pieces of the jazz pie; gospel, swing, bluesy riffs, along with his wonderful bass and drummer who accompanied him well.
Next, he played Happy Birthday, changing rhythms every few bars: Latin, swing, gospel, stride, Next he played another original, called Fateful a more somber reflective piece and then a
gospel-tinged piece called Sunday Waltz.
Much of the time he stood up as he played the grand piano, with amazing strength and dexterity.
Next he played a John Coltrane piece, Countdown, from his new cd of the same title. He totally
channeled McCoy Tyner , as he appeared to be greatly influenced by the piano giant on most of the
songs he played. Finally he played two more original pieces, first Space trading call and response licks with his bass player and drummer and an original samba piece called City Lights with great Brazilian flare.