Randy Klein is the Performer of the Month at Sunday Night Improv!
See Randy Klein at Sunday Night Improv, Stand-Up Labs, Sunday, August 17 & 24, 236 West 78 Street at 7:00 pm!
Read the interview:
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Jersey City, New Jersey
WHEN? A long time ago.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Fort Lee, NJ
HOW’D YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN IMPROV? I have always been an improvising pianist. I’ve played in jazz ensembles and free improvising music situations most of my life. I was also the pianist at the Comic Strip from 1979-1982. It was there that I learned how to button a joke and honed my timing skills. Timing is everything! The stand-ups were always improvising skits and asking me to make up background music to their imaginative worlds that they created. Playing improv as a jazz player to playing improv for comics wasn’t that much of a stretch. Mostly, it was a matter of listening and focusing intently on the moment and not stepping on the joke. My ability to understand what “funny is” also helped.
Recorded on Sing For Hope Pianos. Piano painted by Maxine Nienow in Times Square- June 2013
Ok, so I was playing to a sell-out crowd in Times Square. I was into it! I tried to leave space in my playing for the sounds of this most famous hubbub of humanity to be part of the improvisation. Then I faintly heard the approaching sirens coming from uptown. I felt myself willing them closer and closer so that I could interact with the blare of the sound. Finally, the ambulance with the sirens was right in front of me, singing the high note of a solo. There I was playing accompaniment for NYC EMS. What a rush! Times Square is a crazy place, you never know what you will see. The cowboy in his underwear with his guitar was more than I could ask for in this video. You just can’t make this stuff up. I have to admit, that this is one of my favorite playing experiences, playing with the Times Square din. Enjoy!
Recorded on Sing For Hope Pianos. Piano painted by Laura Ricciardi at the South Street Seaport - June 2013
Every piano has its own sonic personality. Some sing like angels! Others honk like geese! But, even if a piano is a honker, a pianist can find some quality in that instrument that has musical beauty. My improvisations in this series were played on pianos that were left outside during one of the rainiest periods of a New York summer. Even though they were covered, the elements wore them away. Notes didn’t work or would stick, pedals clicked and rattled, and the tuning of each instrument varied greatly. My goal was to play to the elements surrounding me and at the same time find some life quality within these instruments to make music from. I found myself having a great time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed playing!
It was a quiet day at the South Ferry Seaport. This white grand piano beckoned to me. I started to play and noticed the tuning. Out! I noticed the pedal. Broken! I realized that the lid was bolted down so no sound could emanate forth. Yet, the piano had some life left in it. I finally began to play rhythmically, and the soul of this piano began to emerge. Enjoy the improvisation!
Mastering ‘What’s Next?’
Putting on the finishing touches. Recording and mixing engineer, Daryl Bornstein, mastering engineer, Gene Paul and pianist/composer, Randy Klein mastering What’s Next?, the new CD featuring Alex Skolnick on guitar, Boris Kozlov on electric bass guitar and Randy Klein on piano. The CD is scheduled for release on Jazzheads this October 2012.