Jackie Warren | Near You

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Latin: Latin Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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Near You

by Jackie Warren

Solo jazz piano influenced by Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner. The perfect soundtrack. A modern, elegant approach to some classics. It will put you back in touch with why you love jazz.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blue in Green
5:21 $0.99
2. Black Orpheus
7:39 $0.99
3. Some Other Time
9:13 $0.99
4. My One and Only Love
6:50 $0.99
5. If You Never Come to Me
5:38 $0.99
6. I Thought About You
6:24 $0.99
7. Nardis
6:14 $0.99
8. Tengo Mi Flores
5:08 $0.99
9. Blue Monk
4:54 $0.99
10. Liquid Moon
7:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Born in the prairie town of Calhan, Colorado, pianist Warren is the granddaughter of a true cowboy. She came to Northeast Ohio in 1986 to begin her Bachelor’s of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied piano performance and jazz studies, with mentors Wendell Logan, Neal Creque and Kenny Davis. Following her 1990 Oberlin graduation, she earned a Masters in Music degree from Cleveland State University.

Now living in Cleveland Heights, Warren is on the faculty at the Cuyahoga Community College Jazz Studies program (Metro Campus) and has taught since 1997 at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. She has performed and recorded with The Jazz Heritage Orchestra, the Afro-Cleveland Orchestra, Sammy DeLeon y su orquesta and other groups. She often plays out around town with her own trio or quartet. Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, Marcus Belgrave, and Terence Blanchard are among the notables she has performed with.

Liner notes by Carlo Wolff from the cd “Near You”

"Near You" is the first of what I hope will be many recordings by Jackie Warren, a fixture on the Cleveland jazz scene for going on 15 years. Mention Jackie to other musicians, and they'll rightfully say she rules. Bring her up to long-time fans and they'll recall grooving to her years ago at the Grog Shop, when she worked with the Afro-Cleveland Orchestra and jazz wasn't quite as marginalized as it is nowadays. To hear her is to fix on her, because Jackie Warren is a lover of the piano. She plays the instrument so well,it makes love back.
Jackie can play everything from Domino to Jobim, from Berry to Bach. Her mom was her first teacher, and she was one of the only musical kids in Calhan, the tiny Colorado town where she was born. Jackie began playing when she was five, and by the time she was ten, knew she'd been born to sit at the keyboard.

Jackie's brothers are remarkably musical, too, and family jam sessions, led by her dad, who played by ear, represented her first foray into jazz; having a good sense of pitch helped, too. The family training guided Jackie toward a musical career, and by the time she left her prairie home, she'd studied with several piano teachers including Myra Boitos, a crucial figure in her formative years. Boitos insisted Jackie take formal classical lessons and introduced her to another soul mate, Juilliard University grad Charles Day. Boitos and Day "conspired" to send her to Oberlin, she says; her schooling explains how she can speak Tatum as fluently as Poulenc.
Not only does Jackie play solo, she works trio - her favorite format -- and big band. She has gigged with everyone from soul singer Solomon Burke to bandleader Gerald Wilson, from Clark Terry to the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.

"Myra always told me I'd be versatile," Jackie recalls. "She'd try to play me something every week to kind of blow my mind." She grew up on a little of everything: Beatles, bluegrass, prairie and cowboy tunes, classical. But when Boitos hipped her to Oscar Peterson, she realized she wanted to play jazz. Her brand of jazz has many flavors. One reason is all those influences Another is that tinkering seems to be part of Jackie's genetic makeup; she calls her dad "a man of many jobs, "as well as an auto mechanic and a trader, and her mom - a musical mentor on the side -- is a teacher's aide. Like Jackie, her parents play piano. Unlike Jackie, they don't make a career of it.
People who know her keyboard artistry probably wonder what took her so long to release her first CD. All I can say is, to everything there is a season. All Jackie wants to say is that this is likely to be the first recording of many; she's already planning to lay down tracks with her trio, which includes Peter Dominguez, a star on bass and a member of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music jazz faculty, and Ron Godale, a surprisingly deft and versatile drummer. Who knows? A large group recording - perhaps featuring Jackie and a big band, like the one she works with at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - may also be in the cards.

"The trio is my favorite setting," she says between sets one Tuesday at Nighttown, one of her regular venues. "In every other ensemble, piano is secondary. It's harder to converse, being as there are too many people talking."
That certainly isn't the case when you're alone, as Jackie is on "Near You,"10 leisurely, intimate tracks of solo acoustic piano. This CD exemplifies the direct approach - it's Jackie playing for herself, and for us - but it's more. A killer recording of the quiet kind, "Near You" sneaks up on you, Jackie wielding lines of delicacy and power, her approach remarkably shapely and deliberate.
Whether it's her classical, architectural reimagining of Luis Bonfa's "Black Orpheus," her slightly bawdy, tongue-in-cheek take on Monk's "Blue Monk," or the one original, her heartfelt "Near You," Jackie Warren is on the money here. This album isn't designed to impress or snow you. It does the job Jackie does best: play piano at its most confidential, moving, and, yes, understated.

"I wanted my first solo thing to make a different sort of statement,"
Jackie says, nursing a vodka and lime between sets at the Cleveland Heights venue. "Wendell Logan always told me if you can't play a ballad, you can't play anything." As chairman of jazz studies, Logan taught her jazz history and theory and was a key figure at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she earned a bachelor's of music degree in piano performance and jazz studies. She also studied with Neal Creque, the late, lamented Cleveland pianist, and Kenny Davis, a veteran Cleveland trumpeter who taught her how to improvise.
Jackie also applies that improvisatory approach to the rest of her life. Besides her standing gigs at Nighttown and at the House of Swing a comfortable jazz club where she works Monday nights with the Afro-Cleveland Orchestra,

She teaches classical and jazz piano and Latin jazz ensemble at the metro campus of Cuyahoga Community College. It seems those degrees - a bachelor's from Oberlin and a master's degree in classical piano from Cleveland State University - paid off, after all. Jackie also often works with Sammy DeLeon y su orquesta on weekends, displaying her mastery of merengue and salsa (one of her tags is "salsa queen").
Back to "Near You," Jackie's expression of what she learned at Oberlin from Sedmara Rutstein, who taught her how classical a notion of patience one needs to play the jazz ballad. "Near You" is Jackie returning the favor, teaching a lesson in how to pay attention. One track flows into the next, creating a seamless experience that could be dismissed as easy listening were it not so nourishing. By the time we get to the final track, we've taken a remarkable journey. You don't want "Near You," its nostalgia embroidered by Jackie's careful, right-hand runs,
to end. Neither, it seems, does Jackie. This auspicious debut suggests that her piano playing will continue to resonate.

Carlo Wolff
April, 2004



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