|This is a preview of my third solo piano CD, BLUE SHADES.|
|Welcome to my third solo piano album, a
portfolio of mostly original music consisting of paired selections. The
first of each pair is composed or improvised in a blues or song form,
while the second is an improvisation derived from or related to the first
in some way.
I began playing blues when I was about twelve years old. My father, who was from Texas and loved blues and country music, had been asking me if I could learn to play some Ray Charles or boogie-woogie. In my brother's record collection, I discovered old 78 rpm records of boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson. They were invaluable teachers. Even when I'm not playing blues, shades of it tend to color much of what I do play.
Improvisation is the lifeblood of music. When I was a baby, my brother, Bruce, used to make up songs for me at the piano. As soon as I started piano lessons, however, I got the message that improvisation would not be a part of my music education, at least, if I intended to pursue a "serious" career in classical music. Only later, when I discovered jazz, was improvisation addressed, but even then, only within the framework of the jazz format. Through listening to music recorded by musicians who had, in some way, stepped outside of the mainstream, I was encouraged to explore and develop my own approach to improvisation. In this effort, Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell, and Matthew Shipp have been invaluable teachers.
Pawcatuck, CT USA
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