Randy Klein’s Two Duos concert at the University of Kansas School of Music featuring Randy Klein on piano, Ole Mathisen on saxophone and Chris Washburne on trombone.
Jazz Hot Magazine reviews Randy Klein’s CD ‘Sunday Morning’
‘Le pianiste Randy Klein avec ses deux compères tentent de rendre l’atmosphère ”des heures du dimanche matin qui commencent après minuit le samedi, ces heures où les pensées et les sentiments ont la grâce du loisir”, en se basant sur 12 pièces qu’il écrivit en 1988. C’est un pianiste et un compositeur éclectique, composant toutes sortes de musiques, du contemporain à la pop, le jazz n’étant chez lui qu’un à-côté. Mais au piano il est intéressant, il a la chance de jouer sur un magnifique Steinway, avec un phrasé très aéré et assez minimaliste. Le tromboniste est lui aussi compositeur et touche à beaucoup de styles, néanmoins il est très ancré dans le jazz et la salsa. Il a étudié avec Ran Blake et Bob Moses à Boston. Il est également ethnomusicologue. Il possède un son puissant, ample et cuivré. On peut l’apprécier sur ‘Now I Wonder’ ou bien ‘Petits pois’ plus lyrique, dans un style proche de Robin Eubanks. Le saxophoniste russe se réclame de la tradition, de Charlie Parker et de la fusion. Il a commencé en URSS à la fin des années 80 dans le groupe Orlan, assez traditionnel, avant de gagner la Pologne, puis les USA en 1994, il obtint une récompense à Montreux en 1996, et depuis il enchaîne les festivals ; son style est plutôt mainstream avec des impros mélodiques. Il peut être très tendre comme dans le beau ‘Truly Yours’, ou encore le nocturne dans ‘Sunday Morning’. ce sont en fait douze duos, six piano-trombone qui alternent avec six piano-saxophone. Un disque somme toute très agréable et qui permet de découvrir trois musiciens intéressants.’
‘Pianist Randy Klein, along with his two musical friends evoking the atmosphere “of the hours of Sunday morning, those moments when the thoughts and feelings have the grace of leisure”, based on twelve tunes that Klein composed. This is an eclectic pianist and composer, creating all kinds of music, from contemporary to pop with elements of jazz improvisation as a home base. But, what is interesting about at Randy Klein’s piano work is that, he is playing on a magnificent Steinway and he keeps the accompaniment with very airy phrasing and quite minimalist. Chris Washburne, the trombonist is also key to the success of playing in many styles. Though he is very rooted in jazz and salsa, has studied with Ran Blake and Bob Moses in Boston along with being an ethnomusicologist, he has a powerful sound, full and brassy. It can be appreciated on ‘Her Beautiful Soul’ or ‘Le Petit Pois’ more lyrical in a style similar to Robin Eubanks. Also featured is Russian saxophonist, Oleg Kireyev, whose musical influence is Charlie Parker and fusion. He started in the USSR in the late 80s in the group Orlan, quite traditional, before reaching Poland and the United States in 1994, he received an award in Montreux in 1996, and since plays in many European festivals. His style is rather mainstream with melodic improvisations. It can be very tender like the beautiful ‘Truly Yours’, or the tune ‘Sunday Morning’. They are actually twelve duets, six trombone-piano alternating with six piano-saxophone. A disc all in all that is a good listening experience and that reveals three very interesting musicians.’
Simons Fellowship – Week #5
This has been a jam packed week. I arrived Monday night at the University of Kansas to begin the second part of my Simons Fellowship at the Hall Center for the Humanities. I hit the ground running on Tuesday morning when I presented ‘It’s About The Music/It’s About The Business of Music’ to freshman and sophomore music majors. Then I went to a rehearsal of a big band directed by Professor Dan Gailey of the Jazz Department. Of course, I worked till the wee hours of the morning on my own writing.
On Wednesday, I conducted a Jazz ensemble through four of my own pieces. The ensemble consisting of three horns, read through the charts and we worked on making them musical. Dynamics was the main principal discussed and worked on. It is a wonderful feeling to teach these young musicians aspects of listening skills. They were playing with dynamics and cooking on the music. Nice!
Thursday morning, I spoke again about the music and the business of music to another freshman/sophomore class. This was a difficult one. The students seemed to be distracted and I really tried everything I could to engage them in some way. I then finally said, ‘How about I just play for you?” I sat at this very well maintained Steinway and played a five or six minute improvisation. I finally connected to them. Music is amazing that way. From that point forward, the students asked questions and were with it. You never know what will work when teaching.
Bob McWilliams from Kansas Public Radio invited me to be a guest on his show ‘Jazz in the Night’ on Thursday night. He played cuts from Two Duos CD ‘Sunday Morning’, tunes from Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS CD ‘Fields Of Moons’ along with some of my favorite recordings that Bob asked me to choose: Sheila Jordan – Falling In Love With Love, Nancy Wilson/ Cannonball Adderley – Save Your Love For Me, Ramsey Lewis – The In Crowd and Oliver Nelson – Stolen Moments. Bob and I had a great time listening and talking about the music. Thanks Bob!
Photos: Randy Klein and Bob McWilliams on
Saturday night was the big event for me. Trombonist, Chris Washburne and saxophonist, Ole Mathisen, happened to be in Nebraska and were willing to make the drive to KU. This allowed us to set up a Two Duos concert at the KU School of Music. The concert was wonderfully received. Chris and Ole both played beautifully. The Two Duos concept was really working and I am most appreciative of the fact that the audience was so wildly enthusiastic. Parts of the concert were videoed. I will have them posted soon.
Photos: Two Duos concert feat. Randy Klein, Chris Washburne and Ole Mathisen at the KU School of Music
I am appreciating this period of my life very much. The silence of Lawrence, Kansas, allows me to focus and keep my rather hectic life in order. Aaah!
How about a shoutout for Complete Silence!!!
More to come …RK
Freddie Jacobs – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Trumpeter/Flugelhorn player and musician, Fred Jacobs, came up to me at the JEN Conference and handed me a CD. I asked, ‘What is this?’ He smiled and pointed to my name as producer on the CD jacket. The CD he handed me is titled, ‘Jacobs’ Ladder’. It contains four wonderful Jazz tracks featuring: Freddie Jacobs – Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Adam Kolker-Sax/Flute, Chris Washburne-Trombone, Harvie S-Bass, Yoron Israel-Drums, Renato Thoms-Percussion and I produced it. We recorded it in 1999, I can visualize the studio and the session, but never knew what happened to the recording. When I got home from the JEN Conference, I put it on. Old friends emerged from my speakers. Freddie is a highly musical soloist and the band was smokin’. I was happy to reunite with some music that I helped shape.
Thanks Freddie for having the faith and for your music!