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Collaboration

Collaboration

Kenny Werner / Hein Van de Geyn / Hans van Oosterhout

Label: Challenge Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917336320
barcode
Catalog number: CR 73363
Releasedate: 10-05-13
World-class pianist and composer Kenny Werner his prolific output of compositions, recordings and publications continues to impact audiences.

Conversational protocols, common repertoire, understanding of form, affinity with the masters of the music; these are the elements that make it possible for three musicians to meet in the studio, sit down and create some coherent music together.
  • Kenny Werner is a world-class pianist and composer
  • His prolific output of compositions, recordings and publications continue to impact audiences around the world
  • Quincy Jones has said of Kenny, “Perfection, 360 degrees of soul and science in one human being. My kind of musician.”
  • A well oiled pianist, an exceptional engineer, a club owner who really loves the music and a record producer who also gives it up for the music
  • Kenny has written many original compositions featuring trios and other small group configurations
  • Kenny played with Toots Thielemans, the legendary harmonica player. For twenty years he has played with and arranged for Betty Buckley, a Broadway legend. They made six albums together
  • He had nearly forty-year friendship and musical collaboration with Joe Lovano. They have recorded on a number of each other’s projects.
Jazz - music in the moment. Jazz - music as a conversation. Jazz - music embedded in a strong and long tradition. Conversational protocols, common repertoire, understanding of form, affinity with the masters of the music; these are the elements that make it possible for three musicians to meet in the studio, sit down and create some coherent music together. Oh, it’s not like we didn’t play together before. A small tour with this trio a few years ago, playing mostly Kenny’s compositions; a few concerts with the legendary Toots Thielemans, where we supported the songs played by this gentle giant. Another tour with Ritchie Barshay on drums some years back. To meet in the studio in Osnabrück was like a meeting of old pals. There was no need to plan much; Chris, the sound engineer, made sure the piano was in excellent shape, that we could see each other, hear each other and so we only had to trust our ears, our intuition and just observe to how the music would unfold. For so many years, as more immature players, we might think we can control the music, that we need to practice and work to know more, be more complicated. And to a certain extend we do need to grow and develop our skills to a certain level. Maybe not even to play things out, but to have the confidence to feel that one is ready to deal with things as a musician. From that confidence it becomes so important to let go, to not try to control; to look for an unconditioned response. Listening becomes a very important asset; leaving out the ego is another one. Surrendering to the music gives us the greatest chance that some real creativity might happen. Music coming out that is larger than the sum of the individual abilities. And somehow, this was what was happening on those few days in the studio. We just played. Oh, at some point Kenny pulled out a piece of sheet music (Elegante), we played a few standards; see how we could pull them apart and yet keep them together (There Will Never Be Another You). But mostly we improvised, listened, we let go of desire and just let things unfold as they wanted to unfold. Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it worked - and it’s the stuff we looked back on as satisfying musical conversations we put on the CD you are listening to now. We liked the process, I hope you like the result. Hein Van de Geyn, Scarborough, November 2012
Kenny Werner is a world-class pianist and composer. His prolific output of compositions, recordings and publications continue to impact audiences around the world.

Born in Brooklyn, NY on November 19, 1951 and then growing up in Oceanside, Long Island, Kenny began playing and performing at a young age, first recording on television at the age of 11. Although he studied classical piano as a child, he enjoyed playing anything he heard on the radio. In high school and his first years of college he attended the Manhattan School of Music as a classical piano major.
His natural instinct for improvisation led Kenny to the Berklee School of Music in 1970. There he sought tutelage of the renowned piano teacher Madame Chaloff. A Her gracious wisdom and inspiration became a driving force in Kenny’s conception: A music conscious of its spiritual intent and essence.
From Boston, Kenny traveled to Brazil with the saxophonist Victor Assis Brasil. There he met Victor’s twin brother, Brazilian pianist Joao Assis Brasil. He studied with Joao, who provided another piece of the puzzle for Kenny’s conception that would lead to Effortless Mastery, his landmark opus on how to allow the master musician from within to manifest. The Book was published in 1996. It recently became available as an ebook on kindle and in I-books.

Kenny started his own trio in 1981 with drummer Tom Rainey and bassist Ratzo Harris. The Kenny Werner Trio matured for fourteen years, wowing audiences in America and Europe and recording four albums along the way.

Kenny has written many original compositions featuring trios and other small group configurations, but in the mid 1980’s, he became the pianist for the Mel Lewis Orchestra (currently known as the Village Vanguard Orchestra). Challenged by Mel and Bob Brookmeyer to write for the band, he produced his first compositions and arrangements for jazz orchestra, consequently leading him to write for the major bands in Europe including the Cologne, Danish, and Stockholm Jazz Orchestras, The Umo Jazz Orchestra of Finland and several times as the guest composer and soloist with the Metropole Orchestra of Holland.

Several outstanding musical partnerships began in the 1990’s. Kenny continues to play duo with Toots Thielemans, the legendary harmonica player. For twenty years he has played with and arranged for Betty Buckley, a Broadway legend. They made six albums together and she has sung his arrangements for small band and orchestras across the globe.  He also has had a nearly forty-year friendship and musical collaboration with Joe Lovano. They have recorded on a number of each other’s projects.
In 2000, Kenny formed a new trio with Ari Hoenig on drums and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass.  They played nearly a decade together and released three albums, with Kenny acting as composer, arranger, and pianist. 

Kenny groundbreaking work on Improvisation, Effortless Mastery – Liberating the Master Musician Within, was published in 1996. Using his life experiences as a microscope into the artist’s mind, Effortless Mastery is a guide to distill the emotional, spiritual, and psychological aspects of an artists life. Today it is one of the most widely read books on music and improvisation, helping thousands of musicians around the world unlock their talent and potential.The book is required reading at many universities. Werner, without intention, touched off a revolution of inspiring musicians to do inner work on the mind, body, and soul in attempt to upgrade their musical experience from the mundane to the profound. The book is also popular with artists of other mediums and business professionals.  Kenny continues to teach and give clinics in the United States and abroad. He is currently an Artist-in-Residence at New York University.

Kenny Werner’s influence is unsurpassed.  He has impacted an entire generation of musicians and artists. Despite his creative output, Kenny is still focused on the music.”I am still more and more aware of the true purpose of the music and the people who play it: to heal and unite the planet.