Venezuelan Suite is pianist Edward Simon's love letter to his homeland, but that's not all it is; it's the perfect confluence of Venezuelan ideals, jazz language and chamber-esque sophistication. In short, it's a masterpiece. While every country has its musical adherents in American jazz circles, some are sorely underrepresented. That's why it's so vitally important when somebody like saxophonist Miguel Zenon comes along and bridges the gap between jazz and the music of Puerto Rico, or when pianist Danilo Perez finds and/or creates a nexus linking jazz to the music of Panama. These men are, in some ...read more
Some artists maintain a busy release schedule, putting out an album a year--sometimes, in the case of musicians like guitarist Bill Frisell, even more frequently--while others, for a variety of reasons, are less prolific. Pianist Edward Simon has, in recent years, been issuing albums with broader distribution under his own name--which automatically discounts 2010's independently released but undeniably fine Danny Boy--about once every three years on labels ranging from The Netherlands' Criss Cross to Italy's Cam Jazz. Live in New York at Jazz Standard is the third in a consecutive string of recordings to feature his seven year-old trio with ...read more
Meet Edward Simon: The process by which Simon became an internationally regarded jazz musician began in the small coastal town of Cardon, Venezuela, where he grew up surrounded by the sounds of Latin and Caribbean music. Born in 1969, Simon credits his father, Hadsy, for developing his passion for music and supporting him and his two brothers, Marlon and Michael, to become professional musicians. Upon arriving on the New York jazz scene in 1989, his reputation as a pensive, rhythmically astute, versatile player caught the ear of noted musicians Greg Osby, Jerry Gonzalez, Bobby Hutcherson, ...read more
With a winning combination, it's rarely a good idea to mess with it. Pianist Edward Simon has recorded with a number of great trios, including the one at the core of Simplicitas (Criss Cross, 2005). His music took a giant leap forward, however--in terms of composition, arrangement and performance--with Unicity (Cam Jazz, 2006), featuring bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The greater freedom, latitude and time that Cam allows its artists is surely another factor, as opposed to Criss Cross' one-day, six-hour sessions (which still, remarkably, manage to result in consistently fine releases). Patitucci and Blade return on Poesia, ...read more
Saxophinist David Binney and pianist Edward Simon have been playing and recording together a long time. The wonderful, accessible, and deep Océanos reflects their close musical relationship. The duo consider this release to be a continuation of Afinidad (Red Records, 2001) in that the music displays the range of musical styles that each brings to the table. Binney contributes four of the eight tracks and they manage to all be immediately recognizable as his work while also showing the influence of Simon, who adds three tunes. For his part, the Venezuelan pianist mixes his Latin roots with ...read more
Alto saxophonist David Binney has had a very active year. The well-received Cities and Desire (Criss Cross, 2006) was an intense and autobiographical album. Oceanos, co-led by pianist Edward Simon, offers a diverting and more satisfactory package.
Simon and Binney go back a long way and have recorded together on various projects over the years. In addition, Simon has received much recognition for his long-standing role as composer/pianist for Bobby Watson's Horizon ensemble. What is especially attractive about this project is the variety of shading and moods provided. A core group of Binney, Simon, bassist Scott Colley and ...read more
Pianist Edward Simon was born in Punta Cardón, Venezuela. His entire family was composed of musicians, and as a young man, Simon's evident talent led his father to send him to study in the U.S., where he won scholarships in classical piano at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and in jazz at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Harold Danko. While a student in his teens, Simon performed with Philly guitarist Kevin Eubanks and saxophonist Greg Osby.
Simon moved to New York City in 1989 and began adding a who's who ...read more