Press Excerpts

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A pianist with a crystalline touch, but a penchant for avant gardism.
New York Times, 2005 Armen Donelian Quinet, Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC

Precious few listeners are aware of Armen Donelian.  A tremendously talented pianist who has never had a major label signing nor has attached his name to a legend or star of some sort, Donelian has quietly created a body of work that at the very least is consistent, at best exhilarating. Donelian provides a constant stream of ideas and beauty that is hard to deny.
All About Jazz, 2005 (Michael McCaw) for Full Moon Music CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

Armen Donelian is another of those great unsung jazz piano heroes who has lived in New York for a couple of decades.
Downtown Music Gallery, 2003 (Bruce Gallanter) for Quartet Language CD (Playscape) by Armen Donelian

Pianist Armen Donelian is a veteran whose credentials have never been in doubt: he first appeared on record a quarter century ago and has recently led a string of solid discs. Mark Armen Donelian on your list of musicians to watch.
All About Jazz, 2003 (Nils Jacobsen) for Quartet Language CD (Playscape) by Armen Donelian

On his recent Mystic Heights, he applies that same balance [as on Wave] between tension and release to a program of sensitive originals.
Village Voice, 2002 (Gary Giddins) for Mystic Heights CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

Donelian's sense of touch and control is astonishing. His melodies emerge from the keyboard as if magically summoned, and his harmonies and multiple reharmonizations are full of profound depth and insight.
Jazz Improv, 2001 (Don Glasgo) for Wave CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

On the pianist's recent album, Wave (Sunnyside), Armen Donelian has pared down his considerable technique in favor of a dramatic lyricism that, in pieces as old-hat as All of Me and as unlikely as Our Day Will Come and a couple of Beatles ballads, he sustains with controlled and expressive poetry.
Village Voice, 2001 (Gary Giddins) for Wave CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

Donelian’s technique and interpretation are superb and made a deep impression on Armenian Jazz fans.
NAB Artists Management, 1999 (Nika Babaian) for live solo piano performance by Armen Donelian, Yerevan Chamber Hall, Armenia

Donelian mesmerized the audience.
Armenian Mirror-Spectator, 1998 (Nancy Kalajian) for live performance of Armen Donelian Trio, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Donelian’s mastery of writing for small group is startling... exceptional...a provocative modernist.
Lawrence Journal-World, 1990 (Chuck Berg) for The Wayfarer CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

The spirit of adventure that breathes in this enterprise releases ephemeral currents and raises each theme to the level of epic musicality. The jazz attained here hints at even more than it tells.
Jazz Hot, 1988 (Francois Lacharme) **Critics’ Poll #3 Album of the Year** for Secrets CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

One of the great unsung piano trio recordings of the 80’s... strongly recommended, especially to those who favor piano trios.
Cadence, 1987 (Robert J. Iannopollo), for Trio ’87 CD (Odin) by Armen Donelian

A open door to evolutionary jazz.
Swing Jazz Journal, 1987 (Bernard Rabaud), for A Reverie CD (Sunnyside) by Armen Donelian

One can tell it’s a master’s work. His music talks to us of things to come.
Metronom, 1986 (Ertugrul Kayseriloglu), for live performance of Essence led by Armen Donelian, Bilsak Jazz Festival, Istanbul, Turkey

Smooth, harmonically sophisticated solos.
New York Times, 1985 (Jon Pareles) for Heatwave w/Paquito D'Rivera Quintet, PBS-TV

Donelian is a crisp, harmonically oriented pianist whose fleet attack sets the standard for the rest of the quartet. He’s a distinctive stylist.
Jazz Times, 1984 (Kevin Whitehead) for Nightwork (Cadence) w/Rory Stuart

His playing is a revelation. Harmonic intricacies open up all sorts of possibilities, yet he’s always there with just the right note or voicing of a chord when needed.
Ottawa Citizen, 1984 (Lois Moody) for live performance w/Anne-Marie Moss, Cock & Lion, Ottawa, Canada

A strongly individual identity...Donelian’s work subsumes the passion of Chick Corea, the rigor of Richie Beirach, and Bill Evans’ ascetic romanticism.
New York Post, 1983 (Richard Sudhalter) for live performance of Armen Donelian Quartet, 7th Avenue South, NYC

Armen Donelian immediately proved himself a virtuoso... he played hard-edged, exclamatory chords offset by lightly sounded lines that seemed weightless by comparison.
San Francisco Chronicle, 1980 (Conrad Silvert) for live performance w/Billy Harper Quintet, Keystone Korner, San Francisco

He spun out a melodic spiderweb that entranced the audience completely.
New York Daily World, 1978 (William Orker) for live performance of Essence led by Armen Donelian, Sweet Basil, NYC

His flexibility should extend in several directions.
Downbeat, 1975 (Howard Mandel) for Afro-Indio (Fania) w/Mongo Santamaria