Stories » Joey Alexander's 'Warna' is his best album to date / marlbank

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Joey Alexander's 'Warna' is his best album to date / marlbank

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I don't think we have heard Joey Alexander's best work yet. However, his virtuoso qualifications have long been established and this is a beauty. Of course he is still very young and emerged as a child prodigy so seems already a veteran. His closest equivalent is Julian Lage and really it is only in the last five years roughly that Lage's incredible talent has moved up on to a new plateau. (What I am stumbling towards here is that jazz is more than perfect virtuosity, it does not even need perfection. It is however a meeting of the spirits both in the band and how it connects with the audience whether at a venue or listening to audio in its humanity and transformation. That is when lightning strikes.)

His best album to date in the sense of going way beyond the technique carousel because he and we all can take it for granted Warna has a lightness in the voicings and the optimism of youth undimmed by grim setback that makes the trajectory of each tune shine. And yet we need the profundity of life and will have to wait for that to add in.