Ted Knowlton | Tedness

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Ted Knowlton

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Ted Knowlton

These are solo modern jazz piano moods, beautifully recorded; very appropriate for your full attention or nice and easy for background. Inspired by Bill Evans
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Gone with the Wind
3:17 album only
2. A-Flat Ballad
2:12 album only
3. Spring is Here
3:00 album only
4. Leslie & Michael Like to Recycle
3:30 album only
5. Stella by Starlight
3:22 album only
6. Lalena
2:35 album only
7. Out of This World
4:16 album only
8. Chinese Blues
2:59 album only
9. Like Someone in Love
4:56 album only
10. Polly's Interlude
2:54 album only
11. Easy Living
4:01 album only
12. On the Sunny Side of the Street
3:04 album only
13. You Don't Know What Love Is
3:40 album only
14. Laura
2:58 album only
15. Good Bait
3:05 album only
16. Wave
4:44 album only
17. Samba de Orpheus
2:45 album only
18. Invitation
3:20 album only
19. Body and Soul
4:01 album only
20. Someday My Prince will Come
3:23 album only
21. Everything Happens to Me
3:31 album only
22. It Could Happen to You
2:30 album only


Album Notes

You won't find it in your Funk and Wagnalls. The day will come, however, when the word Tedness (the quality or condition of being a Ted) will be in your dictionary along with tednacity, (the persistence of anyone named Ted). While these are being put in the file for the next, new and improved Merriam-Webster, we have Ted Knowlton's new CD, called simply - Tedness.
My friendship with Ted Knowlton goes back almost 30 years when my wife and I first moved to Bilgewater Falls. At that time my favorite haunt was a Chinese boîte called the Pago Pago and Ted was featured on piano and vocals every Friday and Saturday night. One night, while feeling particular manic, I was given the nod from Ted to sing "Lush Life," conjuring up every bit of Hartman that was in me. With a raspy tenor voice in rubato, and Ted's rich chords, I was able to get through it -- with a thunderous applause from a guy who had too many Suffering Bastards.
A score or more years went by before Ted and I connected again. I was doing my Sunday morning jazz program on WICN (We're In Constant Need), a big-city public radio station that happens to play over a hundred hours of jazz a week, and Ted called to make a pledge for which he was given an official tee shirt and mug.
Tedness is a perfect CD with standards out the wazoo and a sprinkling of originals, just the way it should be for those of us who need to hear something identifiable while improvising. And nobody does that like Ted. In fact, in many cases one doesn't hear the melody from the get-go. Thoughtful introductions, influenced by Messrs. Evans and Jamal (who I think swing elliptically), open many of these tunes.

Gone With the Wind, is more subtle, "One With the Wind" a zephyr, a three-minute warm and colorful introspective romp through the changes.

The thing about the originals, the first one being A-Flat Ballad, a short time after listening you'll be transfixed by the harmonies and melody that compel you to sit back and hear the hues. I love minor ninths --"Laura", When Sunny Gets Blue", "I Keep Going Back To Joe's" chords--and this one is resplendent with them. It's been my experience that you can tell if a tune is written in a sharp or flat key. A-Flat Ballad has its share of flats in the minor sound of a lament--a cry from within.

Leslie & Michael Like to Recycle is another Knowlton original, reaffirming his melodic and harmonic prowess. After listening to all these originals, you're going to think they're part of the American Songbook, attesting to Ted's devotion to the art of melody and of the masters before him.

Spring Is Here is here with a masterful delivery by the man who gets into the nooks and crannies--altering changes, creating and adding more color to the selection. Richard Rodgers would be pleased.

Hearkening back to those days at the Pago Pago, Chinese Blues, with its fifths throughout, makes me want to order out for mooshi chicken, pork fried rice and ribs. Yum! On a more serious note Ted approaches this tune like an engineer working in a all-systems-are-clear environment for an all too short 2:45.

On the Sunny Side of the Street starts off stating the melody and soon after takes off in improvisation never losing sight of the original. You can hear it throughout. It's a more up-tempo, playful promenade down the boulevard. 'Tis a good tune to resign the set, have a beer, turn on the juke for 15 minutes before going back for another three quarters of an hour.

Laura's one of my favorites and Ted knows her intimately, freely familiarizing us with the melody like an after-2 a.m. piano player at a lounge ready to close with chairs being placed on tables and the bar getting wiped down for the last time and glasses (shot and otherwise) getting washed and put away for later that day.

Good Bait will have you singing the melody from the start. After a couple of times around, Ted starts improvising with his strong left hand establishing a baseline that fits quite nicely adding to the tune's mortar.

Wave without the familiar bossa nova beat stands up well with Ted's treatment as he probes the harmonies, conjuring up other melodies that could easily pass on their own.

Ted's Invitation to Bronislaw Kaper's wonderful tune is what this project is all about. It invites you to savor your favorite beverage, a good cigar and your significant other. So bring out the brandy, beluga, and Garcia y Vegas and wait out the three minutes twenty-eight seconds of a blissful invitation.

Ted's original Polly's Interlude adds a synthesizer that sounds like a string section--a good sampling. 25 or so years ago this project would've cost a fortune hiring strings. These days a keyboard artist has to be synthesizer proficient in order to make a living. It's amazing what the technology has come to, and Ted's quite the master of it all.

Easy Living's fabric is woven with silken thread, allowing for a rich presentation. You can almost hear the words. In fact, many jazz musicians never lose sight of the lyric. In many cases, the music is performed only when having the knowledge of the words, and Ted's familiar with both. Easy Living is essential for this CD and Ted plays is like someone who's self actualized, totally in control and enjoying every minute of it.

You Don't Know What Love Is. Don't let the title fool you...Ted knows what love is. In this case, it's his love of standards and his love for those who enjoy, desire and jones for solo piano.

Out of This World is a down-to-earth presentation with a strong baseline and an intimate examination to where it becomes slightly otherworldly but never losing sight of terra firma.

Stella by Starlight. is a chord-listeners delight. It doesn't get closer and richer than this. It's a laid back meeting with Stella. (Have you heard about the hip psychiatrist who ordered for his patient Stelazine by Starlight?)

Like Someone in Love is given a lovely treatment with a steady left and a very lyrical right creating the metaphoric ups and downs of relationships.

Some Day My Prince Will Come is a sprightly waltz in 1 that'll have you dancing -- which is good if you're at home or someone else's. Not good if you're in your car.

There's something to be said for a recording artist's vulnerability--especially in a live, solo or duo venue. A lot of energy takes place when you're baring your soul, your art and dreading the fear of not having control over your ax. It's like walking on burning eggshells. Some learned folk would say this fear makes for a better performance. Anyway, on a cold February day in Peter Kontrimas' studio, Ted Knowlton took risks and flew by the seat of his pants with every measure. The muse, the need to self-express was with him culminating in the recording of these 22 tunes, the ones he wanted to do with no A&R man to interfere. So sit back, relax and remember to call your mom and hire a vet.

By Tuebe D. Cyded
Author of: Kevorkian's in My Speed-dial/Journal of a Manic-Depressive



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