Andreas Varady

Andreas Varady

Verve Records, 2014

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I guess if you were already playing shows in other countries at the age of 13 and had been playing guitar for nearly a decade at that point, it seems logical that at age 17 Quincy Jones would produce your record. Or at least for Slovakian guitar prodigy Andreas Varady that's real life. Like so much young talent, Varady gained a following via YouTube, and not long after that he inked a record deal at an age when most kids are just learning to drive. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Varady's choice of sound, surprisingly, is jazz. Also surprising is that he opts to primarily cover older tunes here, some of which probably took more years to learn how to play than Varady is old. First, he leads with Steely Dan's “Do It Again,” which he reworks as an instrumental with funk influences. Elsewhere, he covers familiar selections such as “Let The Good Times Roll” by B.B. King and “California Dreaming” by The Mamas And The Papas,” both of which stay true to their originals but with minor tweaks that reflect his jazz interests.

Where Varady's talent really shines are his interpretations of Django Reinhardt's “Swing 42” and “Nuages,” which are both so detailed, it doesn't even seem human. These obscure selections are then balanced out with songs we all know like “Come Together” and “Human Nature” by The Beatles and Michael Jackson, respectively.

Of the originals included, the subdued “After Seven In Beijing” shows the most promise, and though it's far from the highlight of the album, it hints at the potential for Varady to possess the ultimate songwriter/guitarist package someday.

This eponymous album has an interesting mix of songs. While some are much better than others, the only real questionable moment is the cover of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” The singing is drowned out and it seems as out of place as the song itself does next to the timeless artists included. Of course, those around Varady's age may appreciate the selection, but I can't help but think that had this song been omitted the album would have had a better impact.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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