Jim Ridl Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams Jim Ridl Records2011Jim Ridl is one of our most creative and versatile jazz pianists, an acknowledged master often called upon by his peers for their recordings and live performances. Whether he works along with saxophonists Dave Liebman and Charles Pillow, or flugelhornist Anthony Branker, or vocalist JD Walter, or in a duet context with guitarist Pat Martino, Ridl always adds something special to the mix, conjuring up ideas and images from some inexhaustible think tank within. At the same time, he blends seamlessly with the music ...read more
The idea for this interview came to me when I became aware of two aspects of jazz as a creative, artistic process. First, unlike most other art forms, jazz creativity emerges directly in performance through improvisation. Every jazz performance is unique and comes together in real time while it is being played. Each moment is an original contribution, and not merely an interpretation. Second, it is clear that some musicians push the envelope more than others. They take necessary risks to explore new territory. Sometimes, they redefine the nature of jazz itself. While they appreciate their lineage, they are not ...read more
Jim Ridl, who's been with Pat Martino's bands for years, deserves to be better known. Not only is he a personal, forceful pianist, he's also a first-rate composer and arranger who knows how to put together a band and how to make thoroughly engaging albums like this one. Country songs like Hank Williams' title opus and Tennessee Waltz are not the usual fare of jazz musicians (exception: saxophonist Benny Wallace). In trio with bassist Steve Varner and drummer Jim Miller, Ridl digs into Your Cheatin' Heart as if moving the geography from Williams' Alabama to the Mississippi shores of Memphis. ...read more
Jim Ridl Quintet Deerhead Inn Delaware Water Gap, PA September 3, 2005
Pianist Jim Ridl's new CD, Your Cheatin' Heart, is a jazz take on some country and western classics along with some standards and original compositions. It is rich with novel ideas and textures and is bound to attract attention. So I was excited to attend one of two CD release performances, this one at the Deerhead Inn, and the other to take place on Labor Day at the Brandywine Jazz and Wine Festival. I drove up from Philadelphia to the Delaware Water ...read more
Jim Ridl Your Cheatin' Heart Dreambox Media DMJ-1080 2005In addition to being a highly skilled and accomplished jazz pianist, Jim Ridl is a creative and resourceful musician, composer, and arranger who draws on a rich legacy of musical and personal resources to develop a wide range of musical ideas and concepts unified by his deep grasp of the blues and its endless potential to be reborn in new forms. Each of his recordings has a particular theme, mood, and content in which the separate tracks flow into one another in a way ...read more
The Jim Ridl Jazz Quartet Performing Dave Brubeck's Hold Fast to Dreams" Set to the poems of Langston Hughes Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton Saturday, February 12, 2005
Sometimes we need to be reminded who we are and what's important in life. The essentials are easily forgotten in the rush of daily activities. When a musical event serves as such a reminder, it's noteworthy indeed. That's what this stellar performance of Dave Brubeck's choral composition, Hold Fast to Dreams" turned out to be.
Fundamentally, the concert reminded us that music and life are ...read more
Pianist Jim Ridl is emerging as an innovative force in jazz, a pianist of the highest caliber, a creative composer and improviser, and one of those rare musicians who stretches the art form even as he honors the established traditions. Technically and improvisationally formidable in performance and recordings, he is equally comfortable with his own groups as with his collaborations with such innovators and jazz icons as Pat Martino and David Liebman .
In true jazz tradition, Jim’s music tells a story and expresses a myriad of nuanced emotions. At the same time, Jim thrives on spontaneous musical expression and ...read more