- Artist: Joel Martin
- Format: CD
- Release Date:9/20/2005
JAZZICAL® is a celebration of creative fusion -- it's the explosive union of classical composition and jazz innovation ignited with a fresh spirit all it's own. Created by composer and pianist Joel A. Martin, Jazzical captures kinetic energy that evokes whole new worlds of expression. Jazzical is 'live' music at it's most raw and yet most refined state, whether you are sitting at home listening to the CD or attending a live concert. It is an experience for the soul as well as the mind. Upon first introduction, you will have very different thoughts of what Jazzical is, what it sounds like, how it affects you. There is no one answer. However, one listener said, 'If you either love classical music and hate jazz or love jazz and hate classical, Joel Martin gave both camps plenty to be happy about... During a remarkable piano performance, he displayed a rare combination of dazzling technique and musical sensitivity that served both forms of music with equal respect. Martin is a gifted musician who possesses all the skills needed to become an outstanding interpreter of each musical art form as well as this new 'jazzical' style, which appears at the nexus of both.' Experience the magic of Jazzical for yourself. You will not be disappointed. Jazzical®: Perestroika! Features the fantastic music of Russian classical composers Scriabin, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov as it becomes one with 1960s-style American jazz! A very unusual departure from the 'usual' jazzical CD as this one features piano, bass, drums and tenor sax. And wait until you hear the playing!! Klassno jazz - Cool jazz! A BRIEF HISTORY JAZZICALl® is one of the most innovative musical ideas sweeping the country today, utilizing motifs from classical piano repertoire as subjects for jazz interpretations for solo piano, chamber ensemble or jazz combo, and orchestra. A true marriage of classical and jazz, it is designed to bridge the gap between classical and jazz music and it's audiences while remaining true to both forms. Conceived by concert pianist Joel A. Martin in 1994, during the last decade Jazzical® has evolved into a complete art form. He has released four CDs in the series to critical acclaim. Jazzical® is not a hybrid genre-rather, it is a new genre which upholds the integrity of both the classical and jazz traditions, while simultaneously creating something new and authentic. Historically, classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Schumann were also performers. They often made extemporaneous changes from one performance to the next. Consequently, Jazzical® was developed with this premise in mind: if they were alive today, what elements from 20th century America's musical tableaux would the great masters use to augment their compositions? Jazz, of course! In the early 1900s black American musicians fused quadrilles, polkas, and marching band music with elements of the Negro spiritual and African rhythms to form jazz. They share many common elements including the rules of Western harmony, chordal structure, measure, meter and construction. While the concept of improvisation can be misleading, both classical and jazz use theme, variation and recapitulation to achieve resolution. The key difference in exploring theme and variation, versus theme and improvisation is that in the former, the performer plays the music of the composer, whereas in the latter, the performer is the composer. During the 20th century, such modern classical composers as Stravinsky, Ravel and Gershwin sometimes experimented with idioms from African and other traditions, but these ideas were never fully realized. Martin has successfully merged the worlds of jazz and classical without trivializing the original classical elements or destroying the art of jazz improvisation. Performed as a chamber piece employing jazz combos, solo piano, or with full symphonic orchestra, Jazzical® is a true artistic endeavor, affirming it's classical antecedents and it's jazz heritage, while offering the simple pleasures of musical enjoyment, intellectual stimulation and spiritual uplift. ORCHESTRAL AND CHORAL WORKS In February 2005, Jazzical® made it's symphonic debut with the Springfield Symphony under the direction of Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the Cab Calloway Orchestra. Martin performed his Jazzical® compositions to a sold-out audience. Scriabin's Prelude in G Minor, No. 22 (Jazzical title: Scriabin Preluda Swinga Samba) and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 (Jazzical 1st movement) were received with standing ovations. A separate version of Scriabin's Preluda Swinga Samba for string orchestra and big band premiered at the Westchester County Music and Arts Festival in 2003. Harrison High School commissioned and performed a Jazzical® version of the Chopin Nocturne in B Flat Minor for women's chorus in 2002. He recently received a commission from the Westchester Oratorio Society with St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra, and will publish the first 'Jazzical® Songbook for Pianists' in 2005. RECORDINGS Jazzical®: A Marriage of Classical and Jazz (1996)-Released in April 1996 to critical acclaim, this CD features fifteen compositions for solo, duo and trio inspired by the repertoire of Stravinsky, Chopin, Brahms, Schumann and Debussy. The CD foreshadows many of the elements which have come to comprise the Jazzical® genre: sensitive treatment of both jazz and classical idioms; expressive melodies juxtaposed against intricate harmonies and jazz rhythms; compositions that depict contrasting moods while presenting a unified idea; and expression that relies on allusion and understatement to convey authentic feeling. Whether uptempo or languid in interpretation, each Jazzical® composition retains these essential qualities. JazzTimes (December 1997) called his Jazzical® debut: A fascinating exploration 'beyond category'....This CD is powerful evidence that there is interesting and valid music at the intersection of the two vernaculars [classical and jazz]... Martin has chops, ideas and Bill Evan's romantic expressiveness (with nods to Monk and Dizzy)... Seconds magazine (March 1998) provided an equally enthusiastic review: Martin ...squeezes notes, alters meters and swings rhythms. While songs like 'Petite Chorale' and 'Chiarina' are cooly sublime, the pianist really gets his groove on with a quickness on the Theloniusized 'Debussy Meets Monk' and 'The Night In Tunisia' variations of 'Baroque gets Dizzy'. Jazzical® is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. With this first recording Martin begins his quest to bring classical music to a wider audience. The CD includes his first true Jazzical® composition, Chopin's Nocturne Op. 72, No 1 in E Minor. Tis the Season for Jazzical® (1997)-Unlike other performers, the pianist almost never plays on the instrument with which he is most familiar. Arriving at the studio to record this second CD, Martin discovered the piano of his dreams. The unusually warm tones throughout the keyboard, even in the lower register, coupled with the responsiveness of the keys, allowed his imagination to flourish. He decided not to record the material prepared. Instead, for six hours, he allowed the piano to guide him in a free and open exchange of ideas. The result is an intimate and personal rendering of compositions for solo piano and represents yet another personal milestone in his life as an artist. Recorded live, no overdubs, no equalization, this recording captures the purity and vitality of that moment. The CD opens and closes with separate treatments of the Overture from Handel's Messiah, and includes works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Debussy and MacDowell. Jazzical®: Brazil (1999)-The art songs of 19th and 20th century composers Fauré, Debussy, Treharne, Carpenter and Montsalvatge are set to rhythms inspired by the Brazilian jazz artist Antonio Carlos Jobim. Like Jazzical®, Jobim's music juxtaposes complexity with subtlety to create music that is sophisticated yet universal in scope Martin also sets the Scriabin Etude, Op. 2, No. 1 and Chopin Nocturne in F Minor, Op. 55, No. 1 to the rhythms of Brazilian jazz augmented with Jobim-inspired vocals. Jazzical®: Brazil retains the essence of the simple art song without sacrificing the integrity of the original melodies that are their inspiration. Jazzical®: Perestroika! (2003)- Perestroika! Is an homage to the Russian composers Scriabin, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov and the long-time love affair Martin has with Russian culture. The Jazzical® form allows for a deeper understanding of the classical elements when contrasted with their Jazzical® counterpart. In recording this CD for quartet, Martin sought to emulate genuine feeling, akin to the Miles Davis analog recordings of the early 1960s, Sketches of Spain, Miles Live at the Black Hawk, My Funny Valentine. Like Miles' performances, the fiery, poetic music of the Russian Romantics cannot be faked-they must be played from the heart or not at all. ABOUT THE ARTIST Joel A. Martin is an award-winning pianist and has travelled throughout the world performing both classical and jazz. His classical career spans 32 years and includes solo performances with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony and Delaware Symphony. He has given recitals at such notable venues as Purchase College Performing Arts Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Severance Hall, and the Philips Collection. His concert appearances span the globe with performances in Japan, Finland, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Austria, England, France and Korea. He has performed over 400 chamber concerts throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic and was a featured guest with The Emerson String Quartet. In 1985, Martin was the youngest competitor in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The next year, he was guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Conductor Zubin Mehta. Martin has received numerous grants to assist in the development of his music career, including awards from the ASTRAL Foundation of Philadelphia, the Eubie Blake Scholarship Fund of New York, the Lois J. Wright Memorial Foundation of Baltimore, Musician's Emergency Fund of New York, and Time magazine. In 1998 he was the recipient of the National Arts Club of New York's Lebow Award. Martin was featured in Musical America's 'People to Watch For in '89.' In 1990 he was a SONY Innovators Awards finalist for music and in 1992 received the Concert Artist Guild two-year Career Development Fellowship. His arts-in-education programs have been featured in The New York Times and Piano Today magazine. As Artist in Residence at Harrison High School in 2001-2002 he wrote several compositions for choir and jazz vocal ensemble. Harrison also commissioned works in 1999 and 2000. In 2002, Briarcliff High School in Westchester County, NY commissioned a Jazzical® composition for string orchestra and jazz band. Most recently, Martin served for two years as assistant director/pianist for the Boys Choir of Harlem and for the last seven years as musical director/pianist for the Cab Calloway Orchestra. He has performed with such jazz legends as trumpeter Jon Faddis, pianist Barry Harris, clarinetist Alvin Batiste, bassist Brian Torff, and tenor saxophonist Houston Person and given concerts at New York's Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Fez, and New Orleans' Snug Harbor among others. Jazzical® has been featured on NBC's 'Weekend Today', on Black Entertainment Television's 'Jazz Scene', in JazzTimes, Seconds, and Keyboard magazines and in the New York Times. From 2003-2004 Martin collaborated with soprano Jessye Norman as pianist/composer/arranger. Martin studied with acclaimed pianist and educator, Natalie Hinderas at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA); under pianists Susan Starr and Ursula Oppens at Tanglewood Institute (Lenox, MA); in Germany at the Munich Conservatory with pianists Jorg Demus and Paul Bodura-Skoda; and with Anthony Newman at SUNY-Purchase (Purchase, NY). SELECTED REVIEWS [Martin] displays a rare combination of dazzling technique and musical sensitivity that serves both forms of music with equal respect. Martin is a gifted musician who possesses all the skills needed to become an outstanding interpreter of each musical art form [jazz and classical] as well as this new 'jazzical' style, which appears at the nexus of both. -- Tom Slowick, Critic, The Journal Bravo (MA) Joel Martin is an unusually interesting, unusually talented young pianist....the tones his sensitive touch coaxes from the piano are the loveliest heard around here in a long time. -- Joan Reinthaler, Critic - The Washington Post [t]he pianist sat down and literally poured his soul into the instrument, making the piano speak profoundly with power and passion. His performance of the Liszt Sonata literally brought tears to my eyes. Who is this young man? -- Nancy R. Ping-Robbins, Critic The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) Joel Martin is a force of nature. . . a rare bird. -- Albert Petrak, Critic, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH) Jazzical® is available for performance as: * Solo piano * Duo or trio * Small ensemble or big band * Orchestra or chorus * Dueling Orchestras (Classical and Jazz) JAZZICAL® is a registered trademark of the Martin Consortium Syndicate.
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