Go Where It’s Dangerous
1. Brujo (Jeff Pittson)
2. Selim Sivad (Jeff Pittson)
3. Dr. Hancock, I presume! (Jeff Pittson)
4. Bombay to Calcutta in Six Minutes (Jeff Pittson)
5. Suzanne (Jeff Pittson)
6. Tony (Wally Schnalle)
7. The Godfather (Nino Rota)
8. The Sky Turned Green (Jeff Pittson/Wally Schnalle)
9. Dangerous Variations (Jeff Pittson)
10. Sweet Morpheus (Jeff Pittson)
Jeff Pittson: piano, claviola, ocarina, percussion, bass, sampler, sound design
Wally Schnalle: drums, percussion, sampler, sound design
Produced by Jeff Pittson and Wally Schnalle
Liner Notes by
Dr. Patrick Gleason
It is one of life’s abundant ironies that the common instrument of choice for parents who chose their child’s musical instrument is the piano: ironic because it is a fiendishly difficult instrument. For a jazz-pianist the left hand has to mark out the time and the chord roots with the precision of a bass-player-but just on certain beats. Otherwise, the left-hand chordal responsibility is much like that of a rhythm guitarist with the added complexity of jazz piano voicings — a subject of numerous weighty books of theory. The right-hand plays both the melody and all the various embellishments on melody that accompany it. Given a specific chart, a jazz player’s options on the following bar are in the hundreds of thousands at the least, and probably something more than a million-and the player has something like 10 milliseconds to decide.
In consequence, while there are many jazz pianists (those parents again!) there are very few good jazz pianists. As this album reveals, Jeff Pittson is clearly in that small group.
That much said, this is not an album for the faint-hearted. There are few welcoming clichés to wrap your ears around, and Jeff’s use of electronics accompanying piano-always a debatable and often a deplored direction in the jazz community- is elegant, original and unlike any other player’s use that I know of. Listen for yourself.
And while you’re listening, check out those dark chords in Dangerous Variations. They remind me of something I couldn’t quite place-turns out they’re an adaptation of a sequence in Berg’s Wozzeck. I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.
Dr. Patrick Gleeson