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Vlad West

Vlad West, known in Russia as Vladimir Sermakashev, was a child prodigy. Born in Baku (Russia) he studied piano from age three, composition from age five. At that early age he was playing solo piano concerts at Baku Conservatory and was taking composing and arranging lessons with well known professors. Mr. West has technique and knowledge of classical and jazz music well beyond ordinary piano player. As Mr. Starr (president of Oberlin College, Jazz Study) said about West in one of his books on jazz: “In his combination of grittiness and lyricism, blues feeling and sheer drive, he has few equals, in Europe certainly and even in America.”

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Vlad West is a pianist with a very original style, both in his playing and his writing. His constantly inventive piano playing and his colorful originals certainly hold one’s interest throughout. The opener, “Ring For Swing,” has a tricky melody that he plays effortlessly. The performance, which hints in spots at Thelonious Monk, is concise and effective. “Robins’ Dream” is atmospheric, has the feel of classical music, and covers a variety of different ideas. On “Red Carpet,” Vlad West digs into a blues, infusing the music with some impressive double-time runs

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