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Tigran Hamasyan

If there is a downside to the new versions of Great American Songbook tunes released each year by jazz singers and instrumentalists, it is the shared feeling that the songs themselves are sacred. Untouchable. As if anyone covering “Laura” or “Body and Soul” is signing a non-aggression pact, swearing not to touch the essential elements of those songs.

What happens on StandArt, Tigran Hamasyan’s first collection of songs associated with the Great American Songbook, is quite different. The familiar, enduring melodies of “Laura” and the jam session stalwart “All the Things You Are” are there, rendered with great wit. But almost every other facet of the music is given a lively, sometimes surprising reimagining.