John Stetch | Improvisations

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Jazz: Chamber Jazz Classical: Twentieth Century Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Improvisations

by John Stetch

Unedited and un-premeditated solo improvisations by a pianist who dreams up ideas on the spot, and references the classical and jazz music that has inspired his whole existence.
Genre: Jazz: Chamber Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Weather Drama! (The Musical)
19:12 $0.99
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2. Copper, Steel, Then Ivory
8:33 $0.99
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3. Circles of Burton
5:10 $0.99
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4. E-Flat Major Love Theme
7:00 $0.99
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5. March Into Asia
2:51 $0.99
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6. Epilogue
12:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Born in Edmonton, Canada, John Stetch was exposed to the sounds of jazz at an early age. His father always tuned in to the local jazz radio station in the car, had a large jazz record collection, and taught Stetch the basics of clarinet. Stetch was born with jazz in his blood, as 2 of his uncles were also performers and founding fathers of the Yardbird Suite, now one of the most successful jazz clubs in Canada. In his early teens, Stetch remembers reading his Dad’s Benny Goodman transcriptions and Jimmy Dorsey’s “Hot Licks”, then later switching to alto sax and playing along with Paul Desmond solos by ear and trying to make sense out of the Charlie Parker Omnibook. By his 2nd year of college, he dropped everything to go from casual 'horn-player’s bad piano’ to full-time piano studies.

The Ukrainian community was a huge influence on Stetch as well, and he spent many years singing, playing and dancing to ethnic folk music. His first teenage show-biz experience was playing dozens of engagements with Dumka, a Ukrainian wedding band.

After earning a music degree in jazz piano studies at McGill University, Stetch began touring and recording across Canada and eventually accumulated 6 Juno Award nominations over 20 years. He won the Prix du Jazz at the Montreal International Festival and has been frequently recorded by the CBC Radio.

After relocating to New York City in 1993 he became a decade-long sideman with Rufus Reid, and has performed around the world at some of the most prestigious jazz venues. He has recorded and/or performed with Jim Black, Seamus Blake, Anat Cohen, Javon Jackson, Mark Turner, Jeff Ballard, Jorge Rossi, Charlie Haden, Reid Anderson, Chris Cheek, Victor Lewis, Hank Roberts, Ben Street, Reggie Workman, Billy Hart and others.

He has recently been collaborating with classical and world musicians also, and his recent compositions reflect those flavors. Stetch has been commissioned to write for the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Borealis String Quartet, his own solo performances, and recently performed his Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano. He studied on and off for 20 years with classical master Burton Hatheway, the same teacher of Lisa Kaplan (of 3-time Grammy winning Eighth Blackbird), NYC jazzman Jamie Saft, and rising star Felix Jarrar. Mr. Hatheway studied with the legendary Dora Zaslavski from the Manhattan School of Music, and then spent 60 years perfecting and building his teaching philosophies.

Stetch is one of a handful of jazz artists to have recorded a solo piano trilogy, and with this he received unanimous praise, including Down Beat calling the debut trilogy release, Ukrainiainsim, "one of the best solo piano recordings in recent years". Standards and Exponentially Monk, also part of this series, brought in equally glowing reviews, consistently attesting to Stetch’s originality and virtuosity. Now with 13 CDs under his own name, Utne Reader called his music "bold and vital jazz for the 21st century”. A Steinway Artist, Stetch has been featured on several NPR shows: "Piano Jazz", with Marian McPartland, "Jazz Set" with Branford Marsalis, "Weekend Edition" with Leanne Hansen.

Stetch’s 2009 CD – “TV Trio” consists entirely of TV themes from the 70’s and 80’s. Shortly after being released to radio, TV Trio quickly placed #13 on the U.S.A. JazzWeek chart, and remained in the top 20 for a month. His recent Juno-Nominated CD “Off With The Cuffs” (Addo Records) is a solo piano recording of his own arrangements, re-compositions and improvisations on iconic gems of Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Shostakovich. John Stetch is currently based in Harlem, New York City.

"Stetch has the musical gravitas to pull off what some could see as mere musical jokes; in his hands, though, these tunes have become more contemporary songs, to be taken no less seriously than the originals." - DownBeat Magazine, 4 stars

“John's vibrant, whimsical and piano-playing is totally engaging - "Off With The Cuffs" highlights his witty and clever sense of improvisation, and is great fun to listen to." - Lisa Kaplan, 3-time Grammy winner, Eighth Blackbird

"Imaginative, rigorous, and truly personal takes on the classics!"- Joseph Lin, The Julliard String Quartet

“FANTASTIC! There is such clarity and so much humor in Stetch’s playing! I have always loved that about him.” - Rufus Reid, bassist, composer and bandleader

"John Stetch has a unique voice and travels freely between musical styles. He does all of this with overwhelming virtuosity". - Alex Fiterstein, clarinetist, Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient

"To listen to Stetch pilot these luxury vehicles over the off-road of his imagination is wildly inspiring, usefully disconcerting, and just plain fun." - David Yearsley, Counterpunch

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