John Stetch Ukrainianism

Mixing jazz and classical structures with world music themes has yielded many unexpected results. John Stetch's solo piano work borrows and adapts themes from the Ukrainian folksongs that coloured his youth. His approach is inventive and multi-dimensional, though it tends at times to bleach out the ethnic elements in preference of more classical touches. The faster staccato pieces are well rendered, while the melancholy ones seem hampered by the piano's overly rhapsodic voice. If less concerned with matters of authenticity and tradition and more with emotive playing, Stetch's work will delight. (Justin Time)