You know who’s awesome? My little brother!

No, wait, maybe that’s not the best way to start. Let’s start here:

I am far, far from a jazz head. I do dabble, however, with the occasional group that has its roots in jazz but mixes in healthy doses of rock, funk, prog, or electronic dance music. Think, for example, Medeski Martin & Wood, Wayne Horvitz, The Bad Plus, Brad Mehldau, Jaga Jazzist, Marco Benevento … that kind of stuff. (Yes, I’m aware those artists sound nothing like each other, but you know what I mean. Or maybe you don’t.)

dan roberts - can't notAnyway, it so happens that Washington D.C. is blessed with another hot up-and-coming jazz pianist who works in a similar genre. If you’re in D.C. you may have seen him playing around in various trios, quartets, occasionally alone — or if you happen to be active military, you may have seen him playing on USO tours in Kuwait and Iraq with Al Franken, via his job as pianist for the Army band, recently rechristened [wince] Downrange.

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His name is Dan Roberts, and his new album is called Can’t Not. It’s rocking my world, and not just because it shares my DNA. Check it out.

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