Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The project gestated in April of 2011 in Indianapolis after Diehl, 26, earned first place in the rigorous Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz competition presented by the American Pianists Association.
At 13 he joined Stoll's Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra; at 16 he took a steady trio gig in a Columbus hotel lounge; at 17, directly after graduating high school, he joined the Wynton Marsalis Septet for a European tour of one-nighters. That fall, he matriculated at Juilliard, where Oxana Yablonskaya worked with him.
Aaron Diehl is the real deal. At twenty- six years of age, he demonstrates the meaning of "bespoke" in this debut recording. Capitalizing on the fact that Diehl won First place in the 2011 Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz Competition of the American Pianists Association, he recognized that he should use the opportunity to develop his musical ideas using the Modern Jazz Quartet template.
The Jazz Times
All of these styles are pulled together with great aplomb. "Generation Y" is an exhilarating table-setter that shows off Wolf at full gallop; "Stop and Go" is fueled by Diehl's dazzling rapid-fire effects and Diehl's solo take on Duke Ellington's "Single Petal of a Rose" is a beautiful .
Diehl has delivered a disc that allows the gifted players in his quartet to shine. Over the course of five original numbers and five new arrangements, his potent piano work is intertwined with the music of drummer Rodney Green, bassist David Wong and vibraphonist Warren Wolf (on seven tracks). The quartet traffics in graceful swing on "The Cylinder," featuring a spaciousness that surrounds Wolf's ringing notes on the vibes. Although Diehl excels with balladry, he can also unleash the fireworks, as he does with a frenetic flurry of notes in the double-time section of "Stop And Go." An eight-minute rendition of the Gershwins' "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" features poignant arco segments from Wong, plus supple brushwork from Green that adds a late-night feel to the early section, followed by a trap-set accent at the 6:28 mark, setting up the regal exhalation that becomes the song's satisfying conclusion.