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#1142823 - 02/02/08 06:47 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by daveferris:
As Duke Ellington said..."There are two kinds of music...good and bad".
That really depends on the musician, and the level to which HIS spirit is elevated by his playing. Music should be self-satisfying. I've heard many a musician whose spirit in which they played and the joy they received from it, transcended inadequacies in their technique.

Listen to Joe Cocker. One of the best singers there is, with so little in the way of a voice!

Some can do alot with a little, others can have 16 million colors at their disposal and still have nothing to paint.
_________________________
My expansion of Lennie Tristano's Scene & Variation:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1142824 - 02/03/08 09:47 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
ktom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Somerset UK
Hey Disciple.. totally agree about Joe Cocker - stood in the wings one night when he was touring with the Grease Band - around 1968 (you and I are exactly the same vintage:-) Spine tingling vocalist.. a comment made about Bryan Ferry (though I am not so keen on him) contained some wisdom.. it was something along the lines of .. "he can only sing four notes, but he does more with those notes than most people do... etc". And thus, I agree with your general point.

I also saw Floyd a couple of times, including the first tour of DSotM, which you mention elsewhere. Simple (notwithstanding the 7/7: 4/4 "Money") but effective.
Cool
_________________________
Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..

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#1142825 - 02/03/08 10:01 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by Disciple:
In defense of minimalistic new age piano music (and that's not to infer that all new age is minimalistic, but merely specifying minimalistic new age to avoid confusion with the minimalistic approaches of some Lamont Young, John Cage, Philip Glass, etc. music), I've read through pieces by Ravel, Debussy, and LISZT (ca. 1870 to 1885, his final 15 years) that were VERY much akin to what I consider "new age" piano, although not my cup of tea.

Has anyone here played these later works of Liszt's? [/b]
Interesting point.

If you take for example Liszt's En Reve (1885), it sounds white and glassy and minimalistic. Lizst even exhorts the performer to avoid phrasing or accents. It is certainly not without harmonic interest however. And Schlafos (1883) in terms of visual appearance of the score almost looks like it could be taken out of an Ennio collection.

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#1142826 - 02/03/08 01:18 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1243
It strikes me that those pianists and styles that are sometimes belittled or looked down upon are the ones who could rather easily be imitated by the "best" pianists - the ones who have truly mastered the instrument. For instance, I'm pretty sure that Keith Jarrett could do a passable George Winston impersonation, but I seriously doubt that Winston could closely imitate Jarrett if he wanted to. This doesn't make Winston's music worthless, but perhaps it does make Jarrett's more impressive.

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#1142827 - 02/04/08 06:00 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
This 'New Age'music is very confusing to analyse. I cannot accept Monty Alexander as a new age pianist. 75% jazz surely.

I'm purely a jazz enthusiast and love playing the 88's for relaxation.

There have been some very good explanations for New Age but like most art, it's all in the eyes and ears of the beholder. Abstract art seems appropriate.

I have no comment to make about piano music that does not invigorate me or make me want to emulate the artist at the piano keyboard.

Jazz is an art form of music historically derived from a marching beat. And or, African slaves emotions in their new world. It spells out happiness and joy, blues and rhythms.

Let us just lie back and be grateful our senses are able to enjoy these lovely sounds vibes and soul satisfying music.

Alan (swingal)

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#1142828 - 02/05/08 11:28 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
keithmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 129
Loc: Atlanta, GA
In my humble opinion, the complexity of styles like classical music and jazz are partly due to the fact that when composed, the composers/improvisers were seeking to stretch the limits of their expressive capabilities and of the instruments to which they used. To evolve music and see what can be, and being more technical, complex, and fast was one way to expand those possibilities. As the piano finally evolved to it's modern version in the 1800's, you see composers expanding what a piano can do and express. There are pieces by Chopin and Rachmoninoff that I will never ever want to attempt. They are just too darn hard to put into my daily routine. And Oscar Peterson and company are amazing in their technical abilities. I'm a fan. Granted, I've played all the major composers and performed their works, even concertos, but my cost/benefit ratio draws a line at a certain point.
That being said, and it's just my opinion, new age music has found it's functional place in society as something accessible to a broad range of people, not just in intelligent classical or jazz circles. Working on the peaceful side of what a piano can do, playing less notes can equal perfection in this genre. Left hand 8ths notes are its mainstay. It brings peace to the average listener (listeners are usu. not musicians) without overwhelming.
There are millions of listeners out there with the mind set of, "hey, just give me something soft and peaceful". Slower and thinner compositions accomplish this. Hopefully the pianist performs well with quality.
To me the key word is "functional". I want to write something that helps someone through their day. And my target audience is anyone out of the 6 billion people on the planet.
To expand the far reaches of music's borders is a different kind of functionality. It is high and lofty, and few have the ability to attempt it, few also are chosen.
But the highest calling of music is to share its beauty and depth, so if I can achieve functionality and to share, I've pretty much accomplished something worthy of being heard. One can try!
_________________________
Keith Phillips

www.keithphillips.net
Piano technique for all levels
www.keithphillips.net/AdvancedPianoSecrets.htm

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#1142829 - 02/05/08 06:29 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by keithmusic:

That being said, and it's just my opinion, new age music has found it's functional place in society as something accessible to a broad range of people, not just in intelligent classical or jazz circles. Working on the peaceful side of what a piano can do, playing less notes can equal perfection in this genre. Left hand 8ths notes are its mainstay. It brings peace to the average listener (listeners are usu. not musicians) without overwhelming.
There are millions of listeners out there with the mind set of, "hey, just give me something soft and peaceful". Slower and thinner compositions accomplish this. Hopefully the pianist performs well with quality.
To me the key word is "functional". I want to write something that helps someone through their day. And my target audience is anyone out of the 6 billion people on the planet.
To expand the far reaches of music's borders is a different kind of functionality. It is high and lofty, and few have the ability to attempt it, few also are chosen.
But the highest calling of music is to share its beauty and depth, so if I can achieve functionality and to share, I've pretty much accomplished something worthy of being heard. One can try! [/b]
It's always been that way. In their day, composers and technical wizards like Liszt and Chopin were heard and enjoyed by a very small percentage of the population. For an idea of what 98% of the population of the 1840s through 1860s listened to on a daily basis, watch the film "Gangs of NY".

The average person listened and related to "minstrels" playing accompaniament for folk and early tin pan alley-type tunes like "Oh Danny Boy".
_________________________
My expansion of Lennie Tristano's Scene & Variation:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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#1142830 - 02/06/08 03:02 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
lizzy's dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 256
Loc: Suburb of Seattle
So, I said I won't post in this thread, but it's too, too, tempting.

Let's look at a few facts:

Wikipedia, not typically a quotable source, has an honest assessment of New Age music.

"...peaceful music of various styles...intended to make people feel good...", "Some, but not all, ...is associated with the New Age movement..."

Recall the New Age movement, the neo-spiritualism movement which grew out of the 70's, renown for its focus on meditation, channeling, reincarnation, crystals, holistic health...(citing Wikipedia again).

The millions of CDs this industry sold over the past 2.5 decades re-enforces the permanence of this genre and underscores it's following. The Grammy's still recognize this genre with an annual award (since '87).

In the mainstream, musicians with the moniker of "New Age" include Enya, George Winston, Jim Brickman, Dave Lanz, of course Yanni, and many, many more (Yusef Lateef ring a bell?).

Comparing it to other music genres, classic, jazz, rock, pop, is truly moot. It can't be better or worse than. It can only be different.

It's still my opinion that the music is bland, banal, and boring. But hey! Isn't that the point. Whether I like it or not, there's a market, and entepenuers are capitalizing on it. Ah, the American Dream.

And I can speak from experience now, there is "New Age" sheet music available for the piano. Much to my chagrin, my piano instructor gave me an Easy Piano copy of music by David Lanz. :rolleyes:

It's all good....isn't it!

l's dad ....ohmmm

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#1142831 - 02/06/08 05:37 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by lizzy's dad:
[QB] Yusef Lateef ring a bell?

Back in the mid 70s there was also a flautist, Paul Horn, who recorded a series of albums that had different sections of his playing very simple, etheral type of lines and long tones in different acoustical settings.

One track would be him recorded inside a chamber in a pyramid, another in some great hall, another in a cave, etc., etc.

The emphasis was on the acoustical aspect rahter than the notes.
_________________________
My expansion of Lennie Tristano's Scene & Variation:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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#1142832 - 02/06/08 03:13 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
 Quote:
Originally posted by lizzy's dad:

It's still my opinion that the music is bland, banal, and boring.
[/b]
Often times that is the case with new age music, especially in a concert setting. However, there are moments when it can be quite beautiful and poetic. It's good background music for creating a relaxing tranquil environment. I don't know who the best would be, but I have liked George Winston and David Lanz. However I don't intentionally listen to new age music and instead prefer pianists Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1142833 - 02/08/08 01:43 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
lizzy's dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 256
Loc: Suburb of Seattle
 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:

However, there are moments when it can be quite beautiful and poetic.[/b]
In many cases, I whole heartily agree. New Age music that crosses over into the main stream, for example, Enya's Oronco Flow tend to be quite popular. Popular enough to quite commercial (as in profitable for the artist and for Volkswagen)

Having said that, my opinion hasn't changed. But seeing that opinion singled out like that makes me realized ...How could I have said something so obtuse?

Sorry people.

Wynton Kelly & Bill Evans...now that's exciting music.

l's dad ...who needs to learn how express his opinion without insulting others.

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#1142834 - 03/08/08 07:35 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Please, please, please, please check out David Nevue .

His playing says it all.

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#1142835 - 03/08/08 08:28 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
ktom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Somerset UK
_________________________
Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..

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#1142836 - 03/08/08 09:52 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Him it be!

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#1142837 - 03/08/08 07:12 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
ktom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Somerset UK
I guess, like all music, it says different things to different people..
_________________________
Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..

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#1142838 - 03/22/08 08:34 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Terimr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Rochester, MI
I have listened to www.solopianoradio.com for a few years and this is the best new age pianist artist community there is. My favorites are David Nevue, Micheal Dulin, David Lanz, Greg Maroney, Wayne Gratz and Suzanne Cianni. The late Jim Bajor is one of my most favorites.

I listen to this music while I am working at my computer.

Hope this helps all those interested in this genre...

Teri from Michigan

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#1142839 - 03/22/08 09:13 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, Terimr!

If you get the chance, head over to the Adult Beginners Forum and check out our latest recital (a link to it is posted in the "Important Topics for Adult Beginners" thread.) Kawaigirl submitted her recording of a Greg Maroney piece that will knock your socks off.

I wasn't familiar with Jim Bajor, so I will look him up. \:\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1142840 - 03/22/08 09:18 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Terimr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Rochester, MI
Thanks Monica! I'll check it out.. I'm really new to this forum.

I had the opportunity to meet Greg Maroney a few months ago in Atlanta at a Whisperings concert. He was amazing!

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#1142841 - 03/24/08 08:54 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1243
I just became familiar with Jim Bajor a few months ago through this Christmas CD.

http://musicishere.com/artists/Jim_Bajor/An_Intimate_Christmas

Teri - You, Jim and I were all apparently neighbors!

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#1142842 - 03/25/08 08:07 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Terimr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Rochester, MI
Very cool that we were neighbors.. I take it you have since moved away? Hopefully somewhere warm.. We've had a very cold and snow-filled winter!

Jim Bajor's Intimate Christmas CD is amazing... He had just re-released it before he passed away last December (2006) and copies are completely sold out.

Have you heard Jim's "Awakening" CD? This recording was Grammy nominated.

http://musicishere.com/artists/Jim_Bajor/Awakening

Teri

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#1142843 - 03/25/08 09:45 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1243
Nope - we're still neighbors. I'm a few miles NW of town. I simply meant that Jim is no longer our neighbor.

Thanks for the Awakening tip!

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#1142844 - 03/26/08 02:20 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
This is the best new age pianist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95K987oWeY
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1142845 - 03/26/08 04:15 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Isn't it just Jazz? I remember my father playing like this, with jazz/boogie woogie improvisations, when I was a kid. Monty just sounds repetitive to me. What makes it "new age"?
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#1142846 - 03/26/08 04:17 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
joe michaels Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 18
Loc: Ashford, Kent
Jim Bajor is really good, his christmas stuff is the best!
_________________________
http://www.1001sheets.com - Session Musician (UK Based)

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#1142847 - 03/26/08 01:40 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I've just spent a couple of days listening to Jim Bajor's albums on Rhapsody. Good stuff indeed!

Two other artists I like a lot but don't think have been mentioned yet in this thread are:

1.) Jeffrey Bjorck. http://www.purepiano.com/default.htm Jeff reminds me a lot of David Nevue, both in terms of his story and the type of music he writes. He's a psychology professor in addition to being a musician and is largely self-taught. He's a down to earth guy and has very kindly emailed back and forth with me a few times talking about his background and music. If you go to his website you can sign up to be on his monthly email list that gives you free music downloads and does drawings for free CDs.

2.) Ralph Zurmuhle. http://www.ralph-music.com/

Zurmuhle's music is very calm and melodic. Rhapsody carries one of his albums ("Our Mother"), but I've had to order the others through his website. One of the tracks on "Our Mother" is "Horizon," a 20-minute tour de force of quiet and repetitive themes (very much like James Asher's "The Great Wheel" if you're familiar with that piece). The Whisperings radio station plays a 6-min version of Horizon, and I loved it so much I even emailed Zurmuhle to see if there was sheet music for it that I could purchase. (The answer, alas, is no.)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1142848 - 03/26/08 09:41 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Terimr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Rochester, MI
I totally agree...these artists are awesome!

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#1142849 - 03/27/08 06:28 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
quiescen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 215
Loc: San Diego
Monica,

I actually just did an interview with Jeff Bjorck for my New Age piano lessons site.

I asked him 5 questions I wish I had the answers to when I was first starting out.

Find the interview at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/jbjorck.html

-- Edward
_________________________
Edward Weiss
Quiescence Music
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1142850 - 03/28/08 09:29 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Thanks, Edward... I just read the interview. I find it impressive and inspiring that Bjorck has been able to accomplish everything he has through self-teaching.

I like your website. I have always intended to sign up for your lessons, by the way, although the working mom factor has not made it feasible. In fall when I'm on sabbatical and no longer teaching I will finally have big blocks of free time. I will definitely revisit your site then. \:\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1142851 - 03/28/08 07:54 PM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Tony V Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 354
I just checked out David Nevue this week. I listened to a couple of pieces from "Postcards from Germany".

Is it wrong that I'm under the impression that his pieces are a tad bit repetitive? Don't get me wrong, I think his music has "prettyness" to it, but sometimes he would just "loop" a musical phrase for a minute long (maybe a little exaggerated, but you know what I mean).

I don't think I could have listened to more than 4 pieces without getting worn out.

I'd like to give him another chance. Does anyone recommend any specific pieces that you can consider his signature?

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#1142852 - 03/30/08 10:55 AM Re: Who is the best current new age pianist?
Terimr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Rochester, MI
Tuan Vo,

Try David Nevue's "Broken", "The Vigil" and "While the Trees Sleep". These are a few of his most popular songs from what I've been told.

His CD titled "Overcome" is my favorite and had won "Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2005" at the LifeStyle Music Awards.

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