Below are reviews, and press articles about Jeff's albums

Whole Note magazine-may 2006 cd review

Jeff Vidov’s multi-CD set is one of the most audacious projects to be heard or seen in a long time. We experience Vidov as both composer and keyboardist. He begins this massive project with two CDs of works by other composers, going from Bach to Satie. For the initial bold stroke, he launches into 16 of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, after opening with one Satie Gymnopedie. As a Torontonian Mr. Vidov undoubtedly tries to pull out of Gould’s shadow with this set, and Vidov’s Goldbergs are neither as quirky as Gould’s nor as stainless-steel polished as Hewitt’s. He’d have benefited from Gould’s obsession to sonic quality however: the piano is just slightly out of tune, remaining that way for two discs. Gould, remember, retained tuner Verne Edquist during his Toronto sessions, to tweak should one unison slip. Reverberant ambience increases from the first to the latter Bach variations, perhaps in hommage to Gould’s recording tricks. Haydn Sonatas follow Bach, then on to Beethoven (four familiar sonata movements) and thence to Chopin. Here Vidov ventures into the realm of the virtuoso successfully, and it is worth hearing. The ‘classical’ portion ends with a Satie Gnossienne. On the jacket Jeff lists further repertoire, should you wish to hire him for a gig. Vidov’s improvisations feature motivic cells being subjected to variations, with little reliance on the broad episodic form of many who try at this genre. The piano is very close-miked, as if you’d stuck your head under the lid, making listening a pleasurable experience in a big room with good speakers, but not ideal for headphones. The sudden appearance of studio orchestrations, rhythm section and singers takes you by surprise. Vidov’s last World Music piece reminds one of Rick Wakeman in his 80’s Switzerland period, complete with guitar that appears out of nowhere courtesy of audio engineering. This comparison is apt, as he follows with organ improvisations. However these climb an adventurous path where Wakeman never trod, and there is quite a mass of sound therein. The fourth CD shows us the measure of Vidov as composer, and ensemble works from quartet to large orchestra are featured. Awaken is a work that Vidov can be proud of, and the orchestra shows discipline in this recorded performance. Notes tell us about the recording, not only the where and how, but also the why. It is in the ‘why’ text that Vidov reveals much of his attitude to commercial record labels and the industry in general. There is only one small photo of Vidov, with no snapshots to show what must have been a most protracted effort. Strong work: Vidov is to be commended. John S. Gray