9 Pianists - Our Town Our Time (Music CD)

Release Date: 05 July 2010
Artist: 9 Pianists
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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. ~ Michael G. Nastos
Release Date: 05 July 2010
Artist: 9 Pianists
  • 1. Graceful Ghost - William Bolcom - 9 Pianists
  • 2. Entertainer In Beirut the - Waleed Howarani - 9 Pianists
  • 3. Who's To Blame - Al Hill - 9 Pianists
  • 4. Pure Imagination - Glenn Persello-Seefeld - 9 Pianists
  • 5. My Sunday Best - Mr. B - 9 Pianists
  • 6. Minor Shuffle a - Rick Roe - 9 Pianists
  • 7. Srayhorn-Ellington Medley Prelude To a Kiss/Take the "a" Tra - 9 Pianists
  • 8. Reminiscence - Ellen Rowe - 9 Pianists
  • 9. Today's Blues - James Dapogny - 9 Pianists

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Catalogue No: MEGW0252