Tag Archives: Jazz Pianist

Sunday Sleep In ~ “City Streets” ~ Lisa Hilton.

Jazz photography by John Broughton Contact: dinandriver@gmail.com 847-942-5271

 

One of those artists that when you go through her catalog of music you say to yourself which one do I post. Starting from the almost classical to the contemporary and every bop of jazz, then those very talented fingers dip into the realm of blues. Melodic and tantalizing.

Hilton has produced 19 albums, solo and with the best of players of the art with a soon to be released 20th due in December. Whether she is doing her own compositions as with City Streets or her covers of the jazz greats to including from those that the 1960’s invoked with folk and rockers like Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin also on this album are at times mesmerizing.

But for tonight this one caught my ears and soul and said…. yeah.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Woodstock” ~ George Kahn.

What a refreshing jazz arrangement on this Joni Mitchell classic by George Kahn and company. Released off his 2004 album “Compared To What?”

Some nice bass work by Brian Bromberg to guide the entire piece.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Quiet Temple” ~ Barney Wilen with the Mal Waldron Trio.

This beautiful rendition from the Mal Waldron composition “All Alone” (originally released as a solo in 1966) was put on an album in 1990 to pay homage to French film soundtracks.

Waldron’s career started in 1950 with Ike Quebec, He was Billy Holiday’s pianist in her final years and throughout seemed to play and lead with every renown jazz artist there was.

A native New Yorker he moved to Europe where his home-base became France, Munich then Brussels where he died in 2002. He remained actively playing until the end.

Barney Wilen was born in France and started with Miles Davis when Davis was touring there. He led his own bands and produced numerous albums from that year on until his death in 1996.

 

Barney Wilen with The Mal Waldron Trio

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Where Breathing Starts” ~ Tord Gustavsen Trio.

Tord Gustavsen Trio

Gorgeous composition from Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen from his debut album Changing Places in 2003. He has produced 5 more since, his last being in 2014.

Sadly this artist from the beginning has pretty much stayed touring all of Europe with very sporadic visits to the USA and Canada. In 2013 he did play the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

From trio’s to quartets and entire ensembles all of his albums have only charted basically in Norway and France with a 100 in Germany in 2012. Sort of sad the U.S. in 12 years hasn’t caught on to him. I encourage all to dive in to all of his works, I guarantee there will be no disappointments.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Dat Mistige Rooie Beest” ~ Karel Boehlee Trio.

Karel Boehlee Trio

 

This Rogier Van Otterloo composition was originally performed by Toots Thielemans for the soundtrack of the 1973 film Turkish Delight or “Turks Fruit”. Karel Boehlee’s piano and Trio brings it back to life, not that Toots harmonica will ever be drowned out. It just seemed the song disappeared for some time.

The name of this Dutch artist Karel Boehlee himself doesn’t seem to be widely known outside of the jazz world even though he has been putting out albums since the late 80’s. More than a dozen, seven for a Japanese label. Seems he’d rather jam with whomever at all types of venues whether big, or small cafe’s. His band-mates from 2004-2012 as fine tuned.

Bassist Hein Van de Geyn has also worked with a long list of infamous names over the many years including Chet Baker back in the 80’s. He also has produced as composer many albums both as leader and side man.

Drummer Hans van Oosterhout who performed with Toots is still one of the most sought after jazz drummers today.

 

Karel Boehlee Trio_

(from left) Hein Van de Geyn, Karel Boehlee, Hans Van Oosterhout.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” ~ Diana Krall.

A beautiful rendition of this 1933 classic written by Al Dubin – lyrics and Harry Warren – music, that was set in Paris.

 

Paris at Night

 

 

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “World Changes” ~ Giovanni Mirabassi Trio.

Giovanni Mirabassi

 

This native Italian self taught pianist and composer at 17 got an out of a blue invitation to play with jazz legend Chet Baker in 1987 when Baker did a gig in Giovanni’s birthplace Perugia. How sweet was that.

Then he started composing his own music and got his own group together playing. By 19 he was touring Italy with Steve Grossman.

He learned by listening to the likes of all the masters, notably Art Tatum and Bud Powell among others. But in 1992 he would take his actual first piano lessons from Aldo Ciccolini, the teaching would be three years in Paris. Fellow Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi would also become a main inspiration.

In 1996 he would produce his first album and he never looked back. To date he has put out almost 25, his last release in 2014.

This particular trio you’re hearing would perform together from 2007 through 2010. On the albums they would be apart of each made their own magic making the compositions come alive and jump out at you as if you were seeing a black light poster only you hear the visions.

 

Giovanni Mirabassi Trio

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Heartfelt” ~ Peter Delano.

A Beautiful song and sentiment for this Mother’s Day as I wish my Mom a very Happy one.

 

Happy Mothers Day

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Soliloquy” ~ Mike Longo.

Soliloquy is everything you want in a jazz ballad and this Mike Longo composition defines his indescribable talent.

I’ll let you read his extensive Resume here with the Who’s Who of players this pianist has worked with through his long career.

He started playing at age three, by fifteen Oscar Peterson had become his idol and he also became his student. Need I say more. Longo was destined to become greatness.

 

Mike Longo and Oscar Peterson

 

Even though you don’t seem to hear his name with the same notoriety as other famous names don’t be fooled. He didn’t play with the likes of Red Allen, Gene Krupa, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry and then get hired the day after Dizzy Gillespie first heard him because he was no good.

On the contrary Longo was a masterpiece in the making and every well-known jazz artist and lover knows the sound of his piano keys. So enjoy the taste.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Munastero ‘E Santa Chiara” ~ Danilo Rea Trio.

Danilo Rea- Jazz

This Italian native has been producing music since the early 70s. Started with the Italian rock band “Perigeo” then in 1975 joined “Rome Trio” and never looked back.

Danilo Rea has performed with some of Jazz’s elite, playing piano with the likes of Chet Baker, Art Farmer and many more. In the 80s he recorded more and more of his own works onto a plentiful supply of albums.

This particular trio does a beautiful arrangement & rendition of a Alberto Barberis classic. This entire album had me struggling of which song to highlight but then that saves more for a later time. Both bassist Ares Tavolazzi & drummer Roberto Gatto give the music the right amount of smoke to complete that full flavor.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Fragile” ~ Kenny Barron Trio

Kenny Barron does a beautiful arrangement of this song written by Sting as with everything he plays. From the 1994 release “The Moment” it was the only song on the album that wasn’t his own composition. As usual a pleasant bliss.

 

Kenny Barron

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams” ~ Hampton Hawes

 

A very young Scott LaFaro with Hampton Hawes on this album, sadly he would die just three years later in 61′ at the age of 25 from a car accident. Hawes would be arrested as the feds were going after jazz musicians with drug problems hoping they would give up the names of their dealers in LA. Hawes wouldn’t give up anybody and they threw a unheard of 10 yr. sentence at him.

Thankfully President John F. Kennedy would end up pardoning him in 63′ and the music then continued until his sudden death in 77′ at the age of 48.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Quiet Earth” ~ Renee Rosnes

Renee Rosnes

 

This Canadian native started out with saxophonist Joe Henderson in 1986 and from there has become one of jazz’s best pianist, composer & arranger.

She went on to Wayne Shorter’s band, JJ Johnson’s Quintet then in 1989 embarked on a 20 year stint with James Moody until his passing in 2010 all while producing and releasing her own albums as a leader during and after.

A part of the 2004 Inaugural Concert Tour of SFJAZZ Collective a new jazz ensemble along with 7 other all-star musician/composers was named by Billboard that year as one of the two most significant jazz moments.

Quiet Earth is a Rosnes composition from “Life On Earth” released in 2001.

Her collaborations throughout her career with others in Jazz are endless (and this list isn’t complete).

No surprise that Renee Rosnes is a multi Juno Awards winner and continues to shine.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Sundays” ~ Enrico Pieranunzi Trio

Enrico Pieranunzi

 

Born in Rome, Italy this pianist, composer and arranger has accompanied and played among the best in Jazz.

Chet Baker, Charlie Haden, Frank Rosolino, Billy Higgins, Art Farmer just to name a few.

He has written scores for movies, is a professor and an author. The album “Ballads” from which this song is from is the 6th album in-which he collaborated with bassist Mark Johnson and drummer Joey Baron in 2006. The first with them in 1984 and since has released two more.

Starting in the 70s in Europe he quickly set both the classical & jazz scene there on fire before hooking up with American musicians.

In all Enrico Pieranunzi has written more than 300 compositions and recorded more than 70 albums/CDs. From solo’s, duets to quintets. Chet Baker’s “Night Wind”, Phil Wood’s “Hindsight” just a few from a notable list that became international standards.

A lyrical approach so fine it has made him a very much recognizable figure of contemporary jazz.

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Sleep In Sunday ~ “Midnight Sugar” ~ Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto

This was Tsuyoshi Yamamoto’s debut album, since, he has produced another 14 with the last his quartet being released in 2012. He is still performing today.

 

 

 

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio _ Midnight Sugar

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto 1974

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Asian Dream” ~ Makoto Ozone Trio

What an absolute delightful find.

makoto + ozoneMakoto Ozone in his native land of Japan started playing the organ at 2 years-old (according to his parents) and by 7 was doing his own improvisations. He was on television with his Dad from 1968-70. Then he heard an Oscar Peterson recording and that was that, he switched to piano.

While still attending high school he appeared in a few major jazz festivals in Japan as a pianist of a professional Big band named “Tadao Kitano” and “Arrow Jazz Orchestra”.

He entered Berklee College of Music in 1980 and got the attention of Gary Burton and in 1983 signed with CBS records and debuted a self entitled album consisting of his own compositions and joined the Gary Burton quartet.

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