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Ben Winkelman Trio | Stomps, Pieces & Variations

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Bill Evans Herbie Hancock Jelly Roll Morton

Album Links
Ben Winkelman's website Jazzhead website - Stomps page

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United States - New York

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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Stomps, Pieces & Variations

by Ben Winkelman Trio

Award winning contemporary jazz piano that draws on diverse influences, ranging from Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music to stride piano.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Trio Piece In Seconds And Thirds
3:15 album only
2. Bananeiro
4:53 album only
3. Maxine's Stomp
3:29 album only
4. Scumbag Blues
3:01 album only
5. I Sold You And You Sold Me
5:57 album only
6. No Tengo Un Puto Duro
4:29 album only
7. The Tomasa Variations
7:45 album only
8. Pearls Before Swine
3:50 album only
9. The Game With Mirrors
6:54 album only
10. Study In Seconds And Thirds
1:26 album only
11. The Deadly Vice Of Nostalgia
4:13 album only
12. Spring
5:46 album only
13. Stand A Little Taller At Yom Kippur
5:44 album only
14. Five Note Rag
5:50 album only


Album Notes
Stomps, Pieces And Variations is the debut release from the Ben Winkelman Trio.

The compositions represent a diverse cross section of Ben's writing with influences ranging from Herbie Hancock to Jelly Roll Morton, Brazilian music, gospel and Bartok. The title reflects the influence of pre-modern jazz styles, re-interpreted in a contemporary setting.

“While I was writing the pieces that have a stride feel, I was listening to a lot of Ellington recordings, especially the 60s suites and small group sessions. I was also attracted to the vitality and humour in the music of Jelly Roll Morton and other stride pianists, which forms part of a tradition in jazz that has nothing to do with bop or post-bop, and I wanted to find ways of including it in my own music.”

The pieces make use of hits, stabs and lines that are broken up across the three instruments, harking back to a Red Garland concept of the trio as a mini big band, but with a modern twist. Of course they cut loose as three improvisers as well, which almost goes without saying.

Reviews for "Stomps" - Excerpts

"In the era of the postmodern piano trio, Winkelman’s already claimed his place at the table." - Nate Doward, Cadence (USA)

**** "Just when we thought everything possible with jazz piano trios had been done, this Melbourne trio's debut album forces a rethink." - John McBeath, The Australian

**** "Splendid. Winkelman's 14 joyous originals embody the exhilaration of music making and not a hint of fat... here we come a little closer to the divine." - Ken Williams, The Age EG

**** "Here's a party with converstions everywhere." - Leon Gettler, The Age Green Guide

"A talented musician, with an approach that is refreshingly different." - Adrian Jackson, Rhythms

"This is a terrifically enjoyable album, full of energy and spirit..." - Tim Stevens, Music Forum

Full Reviews for "Stomps"

**** "Just when we thought everything possible with jazz piano trios had been done, this Melbourne trio's debut album forces a rethink. As the title suggests, this is an unusually diverse collection of pianist Ben Winkelman's original compositions. Opening track Trio Piece In Seconds And Thirds is a good example of Winkelman's diversity. Beginning with elements of contemporary classical, then moving to a bass and drums-studded bebop style, it segues into an authentic rickety-tick ragtime. It's as if Scott Joplin had detoured via Herbie Hancock with advice from Bela Bartok, all influences that Winkelman acknowledges. Rodrigo Aravena (bass) and Danny Fischer (drums) are essential ingredients in the mix, contributing foundational stabs, rhythmic emphasis, interposing phrases and swinging solos, particularly from the double bass. This highly original music traverses vastly varied territory, utilising pre-modern styles such as stride piano, but reinterpreting and refurbishing them in a contemporary setting."
John McBeath, The Australian, November 5, 2005

**** "The debut album of Melbourne's Ben Winkelman Trio is quite splendid. Pianist Winkelman's 14 joyous originals embody the exhilaration of music making and not a hint of fat. Bassist Rodrigo Aravena and drummer Danny Fischer are wonderful collaborators. Lines are clean, concise, decisive, dynamics deft. Winkelman reaches back to the Harlem stride pianists (he immersed himself in Duke Ellington as he wrote) and the "Spanish tinge" of Jelly Roll Morton to produce a harmonious propulsion that defies the listener not to smile. On his website Winkelman notes that his grandmother played in an all-girl ragtime band in New Jersey in the 1930s and wonders if his recent interest in earlier jazz forms might result in part from genetic memory. If so, thank you lady ragtimers, for here be riches. Writer Kurt Vonnegut, proceeding into his 80s, offers as his epitaph, should he ever need one: "The only proof he ever needed of the existence of God was music." When so much of music is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, here we come a little closer to the divine."
Ken Williams, The Age Entertainment Guide, November 11, 2005

"Sometimes it seems like just about everybody is styling themselves "eclectic" nowadays – it’s a word I’ve come to dread when it turns up in press releases – but Australian pianist Ben Winkelman is the genuine article, a determined crossbreeder of styles whose music is inventive and often surprising. Classical music and tango and klezmer are all in there somewhere, but what’s most striking about his music is his determination to inject stride piano and ragtime into a familiar post-Hancock/Tyner keyboard idiom. Usually when contemporary pianists hark back to earlier styles it’s via Monk and Ellington – key names here are Jaki Byard, Ran Blake, and Dave Burrell, not to mention European players like Guus Janssen and Michael Braam – but Winikelman doesn’t go that route, and perhaps as a result there’s something of a stylized etude-like quality to his music (“Study In Seconds and Thirds” could have been straight out of Debussy’s Children’s Corner). I’m left with the feeling that the individual components of this music are less original than the way it’s put together, but it’s hard not to enjoy the panache and sense of fun: Winkelman’s tunes keep you guessing, and the trio negotiates their hairpin musical turns with ease and vivacity. Best tracks: the fast-paced "The Deadly Vice of Nostalgia", the quietly estranged ballad "Stand A Little Taller At Yom Kippur", and the genre-hopping minor key swinger "Trio Piece In Seconds And Thirds". In the era of the postmodern piano trio, Winkelman’s already claimed his place at the table."
Nate Doward, Cadence (USA), November 2006

**** "Here's a party with conversations everywhere, each track a different story, which pretty well sums up much of the appeal of this offering from the talented Melbourne pianist. The first, Trio Piece In Seconds and Thirds, pops with constantly shifting ideas that take the listener aback. Fragmented, full of tightly scripted calls and responses, then shifting gears into a driving swing. The second, Bananeiro, nods in the direction of Jobim. And so it goes. Each piece has a strong sense of narrative, conversation and direction, from the slow and evocative ones (Stand a Little Taller at Yom Kippur), European jazz (The Tomasa Variations) or echoes of Jelly Roll Morton (Maxine's Stomp), with Winkelman's flourishes and dissonances making it his own. Another strength is the support from, and the space given to, bassist Rodrigo Aravena and drummer Danny Fischer. They have lots of room to stretch out, and create something new, taking the lines from the piano and developing them further with their own voice."
Leon Gettler, The Age Green Guide, October 20, 2005



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