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Impromptu Single

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Single, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Playscape Recordings officially welcomes back New York based pianist/composer Ted Rosenthal to its roster with Impromptu, his first recording for the label since 2002. This release finds Rosenthals two year-old trio, featuring bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Quincy Davis, reinventing music by Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Puccini, Schubert, Schumann and Tchaikovsky for the classic jazz piano trio format. For the past few years, I have regularly performed my jazz arrangements and improvisations on themes from the classical repertoire, both with my trio and as a soloist, recalls Rosenthal in the liner notes. My goal is for the music to sound like a natural, unforced jazz presentation. It feels very natural to craft these pieces into forms like that of the Great American Songbook. I like to play them with the ease and familiarity of a favorite standard, and the harmonic progressions lend themselves to similar harmonic re-workings that I do with the American standards. For me, playing jazz on these classical themes is an exciting coming together of traditions.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Playscape Recordings
  • ASIN: B003X0JADW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,813 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If, as Duke Ellington was fond of saying: "There are only two kind of music--good and bad," then Ted Rosenthal has invented a third, great! If you're old enough
to remember the Swingle Singers or the Modern Jazz Quartet-- think again. While those earlier forays into "third-stream" music are accomplished and appreciated, what's going here is something completely different. There is a fluidity of line in every tune, a compositional synergy between original composer and a truly original "player," that makes the listener think: Why hasn't this been done--like this--before? These re-imaginings are so accomplished and at the same time so, well, "impromptu" one can imagine a different performance every night by the very same trio, playing the very "same thing." If swing were a thing that could be measured in time-- then this album is timeless.
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Format: Audio CD
Classically trained jazz pianists seem to own a large tool box and are able to improvise in various styles and harmonic arrays. Ted Rosenthal has performed both jazz and classical music and has played with symphonic orchestras and jazz bands, such as that of Art Farmer, Gerry Mulligan, Jon Faddis, and Phil Woods. He has led various jazz trios and teaches at Julliard, at the Manhattan School of Music, and at New School University. This album has him improvising on pieces written by Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Bach, Puccini, and Mozart. If you are a classical music fan, you may need to concentrate to discern the familiar melodies and themes, except for Bach, whose baroque structure dominates and easily lends itself to jazz (Swingle Singers, Jacques Loussier) and Puccini's rich Italian aria. With bassist Noriko Ueda and Quincy Davis on Drums, Rosenthal arranges these classical tunes into mellow, complex and varied, cheerful flowing structures. Here is a seminar on the art of jazz improvisation. After all, jazz artists have adapted music from various sources, mainly Broadway musicals, old popular songs, but also rock (especially the Beatles). Occasionally, romantic classical tunes have been explored and lately even Stravinsky has inspired. This incarnation of the Ted Rosenthal Trio makes a full album of classical jazz. This is not a crossover opus; it is really mainstream jazz, yet the classical music listener may also find enjoyment. For the jazz fan, however, it is easy to appreciate the great talent of Rosenthal, the precision of his piano technique, and his highly inventive mind.
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Format: Audio CD
Yet again Ted Rosenthal shows his mastery of Jazz as a unifying art form for all types of music. Not meant as a tongue in cheek satire of classical music but an homage to great composers and their work, Ted makes the old new again. His knowledge of the genre shows through as we are taken on a ride of many jazz styles in the interpretation of these great works. Fantastic back up on Bass and Drums by Noriko Ueda and Quincy Davis. Ted's Trio is again a hit!
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Format: Audio CD
There were many attempts to blend classical pieces with jazz years ago, but recently these have been few and far between. The most likely reason for the decline is that many of these efforts sounded forced, overly formal or hokey (there were exceptions, such as the Swingle Singers). Ted Rosenthal has accomplished something really new here. He takes an unusual range of pieces, including a Chopin Ballad, a Brahms Intermezzo, and a movement from a Tchaikowsky symphony, and makes their melodies and harmonies sound completely natural and flowing as jazz pieces. What's more, he adds chord changes to heighten the jazz feel of the melodies, and modifies the underlying rhythms in fascinating and compelling ways. When he takes a chorus or two on the tunes, his playing is incredibly flowing, clear and beautiful. Despite the fact that the classical pieces are well known, particularly to a classical listener, this has to be one of the original contributions to jazz trio playing in some time. Congratulations, Ted!
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