Nine Pianists: Our Town, Our Time

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Ann Arbor, MI, prides itself in academia, business, art, and especially a rich musical heritage that spills over into Metropolitan Detroit, particularly where piano players are concerned, mainly in the jazz arena. Mark Braun (aka Mr. B) has assembled dozens of showcase concerts with local, regional, national, and internationally known players over two decades. This CD features solo piano tracks from nine different performers, eight of the selections recorded at the Kerrytown Concert House. While the range of styles lies in jazz and blues, some variations and extensions are also heard. The oldest of the bunch, William Bolcom, known for his award-winning operatic, 20th ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Ann Arbor, MI, prides itself in academia, business, art, and especially a rich musical heritage that spills over into Metropolitan Detroit, particularly where piano players are concerned, mainly in the jazz arena. Mark Braun (aka Mr. B) has assembled dozens of showcase concerts with local, regional, national, and internationally known players over two decades. This CD features solo piano tracks from nine different performers, eight of the selections recorded at the Kerrytown Concert House. While the range of styles lies in jazz and blues, some variations and extensions are also heard. The oldest of the bunch, William Bolcom, known for his award-winning operatic, 20th century, cabaret, and vintage or classical music, serves up the appropriately titled original "Graceful Ghost" in a delicate semi-rag style. A magnum opus medley of four Duke Ellington numbers over a whopping 11 and a half minutes from the extraordinary pianist Tad Weed is rendered thoughtfully and with full extension in tempo and rhythm changes. His version of "Take the 'A' Train" is active and most often brilliant. Mr. B always has had a handle on two-fisted ultra-melodic boogie-woogie; his tune "My Sunday Best" cements his reputation with modern jazz flourishes blended in. A stride-flavored blues from Jelly Roll Morton devotee James Dapogny is another original on the program, more a jam than a composition. Waleed Howrani provides the best amalgam, with the basic melody of a Scott Joplin classic hopped up on Arabic phrases during "The Entertainer in Beirut." Also included is the light stride blues "Who's to Blame" from Bettye LaVette's pianist and music director, Al Hill (who has since left Ann Arbor for Nashville), a lighter interpretation of "Pure Imagination" by young Glenn Persello-Seefeld, and the always impressive Rick Roe doing his piece "A Minor Shuffle" in bop trim with Dizzy Gillespie inflections. The only studio cut is Ellen Rowe's "Reminiscence," a pensive and introspective waltz. As there are many more fine piano players in the City of Trees, perhaps a second volume will follow this well-done, soulful, and literate project, which is recommended to all.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/5/2008
  • Label: Megawave Records
  • UPC: 603408002524
  • Catalog Number: 252
  • Sales rank: 245,242

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Graceful Ghost - William Bolcom (4:04)
  2. 2 The Entertainer in Beirut - Waleed Howrani (3:42)
  3. 3 Who's to Blame - Al Hill (5:56)
  4. 4 Pure Imagination - Glenn Persello-Seefeld (5:21)
  5. 5 My Sunday Best - Mr. B (8:44)
  6. 6 A Minor Shuffle (4:27)
  7. 7 Strayhorn-Ellington Medley: Prelude to a Kiss/Take the "A" Train/Lotus (11:36)
  8. 8 Reminiscence - Ellen Rowe (5:31)
  9. 9 Today's Blues - James Dapogny (3:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
William Bolcom Track Performer
James Dapogny Track Performer
Tad Weed Track Performer
Rick Roe Track Performer
Al Hill Track Performer
Ellen Rowe Track Performer
Waleed Howrani Group Member
Technical Credits
William Bolcom Composer
James Dapogny Composer
Scott Joplin Composer
Mr. B Composer
Leslie Bricusse Composer
Anthony Newley Composer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Larry Swist Engineer
Rick Roe Composer
Al Hill Composer
Ellen Rowe Composer
Waleed Howrani Arranger
John Palmer Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Mark Lincoln Braun Audio Production
John Palmer Audio Production
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