Music to Soothe the Soul
By Cary Kilner
In this first of several articles I have planned for Seacoast Jazz Notes, I'll share links to four songs that I have recently found on the Internet, along with brief descriptions. There's also a trio recording of mine from 2012 that shows my particular taste in piano trio music. [From Cary's home studio with Marty Ballou on bass and Les Harris Sr. on drums.]
I strongly suggest you listen to these links on a high-quality stereo with good bass and treble response. When I was previewing them on my computer monitor speakers the music didn’t really speak to me as it did through my beloved old Rectilinear Studio Monitors. The natural resonance of the room itself also seems to make the sound warmer. Please click on the highlighted and underlined song title to see the video.
Bill Charlap Put on a Happy Face
Bill is an interesting pianist whom we had at the Traditional Jazz Series at UNH about a decade ago. I put him in a “modern melodic” thread with others who display a pianistic touch I particularly like. Other examples are Mulgrew Miller, Geoff Keezer, Hank Jones and Cedar Walton. This cut is a buoyant treatment of the popular standard, Put on a Happy Face. You will hear how he cleverly uses reharmonization, along with key modulations, and presents the performance in classic piano trio fashion with head, choruses, bass solo, and trading “fours” with drums before taking it out. Both pianists above completely “consume” the piano, a term I have come to use.
Elaine Elias To Each His Dulcinea
This burning track is from one of my favorite pianists, Elaine Elias, and displays her wonderful high energy. Marc Johnson, the bass player, is her husband and used to work with Bill Evans (her previous husband was Michael Brecker). She is a master of Brazilian music and also sings, as you shall hear in a future link. I put her in a “post-modern” thread along with Danilo Perez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Jackie Terrasson, for her exquisite harmonic taste and exuberance.
Cory Henry & Nick Semrad Jam session at NAMM 2016
These two players represent keyboard manufacturers and are jamming at the yearly NAMM convention from 2016. Just watch the joy on their faces as they interact and feed off of each other! See the rapt look on all the listeners as they watch an absolutely stunning, bluesy improvisation. While Cory Henry lays down the groove notice how Nick Semrad so agilely adjusts the organ stops. About halfway through he begins playing keyboard bass and the groove really thickens. And note the precious little vignette at the very end displaying their love for the music and each other. I am not familiar with these artists but they played together in the Snarky Puppy, a modern instrumental R & B and funk band.
Jacob Collier All Night Long
This cut featuring Take Six blew my mind when I first found it! It is by Jacob Collier, a young artist I had not known before but who is a musical genius, as you will see and hear. It represents the epitome of musical video production. He plays many instruments, and in the middle you will hear and see him simply rip up the keys on an old upright piano! For those of you who are interested in musical production I also include an hour-long link in which Jacob explains how he created this musical video using Logic software.
From the Editor:
Cary Kilner Friendship
This trio recording was made in Cary's home. He's on piano, with Marty Ballou on bass and Les Harris, Sr. on drums.
In coming weeks, Cary will offer his Picks of the Week. If you have any that you'd like to suggest, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. W. Cary Kilner is a long-time resident of Newmarket and an SJS member. He presented an SJS talk on jazz piano trios several years ago. He began his career as a chemical engineer and then spent ten years in Boston playing piano and keyboards professionally. In 1980, he moved to the Seacoast to teach chemistry at Exeter High School and PEA Summer School. In 2004, he matriculated to UNH as the first doctoral student in a new program in chemistry education research. Graduating in 2014 he did some teaching but is now retired and has returned to practicing the piano.