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San Francisco Bay Area pianist / composer
James Armstrong has explored concurrent paths in improvisation and
modern classical music since his 1979 graduation from the University of
California, Santa Barbara. Past projects include trios, quartets, and
inventions for small ensembles -- volatile, labor-intensive music with a
marked pantonal focus. Now working on original repertoire for solo
“...He has a firm grasp of the sheer power of Monk, often slamming the
keys to create a shattering dissonance...he understands the rhythmic
complexities of Cecil Taylor and the intellectualism of Andrew Hill. He
has used these strong influences to create a personal style, always
saving room for the purity of his own fingers on the keys. It is through his
touch, his feel for the instrument that he achieves his individual power...”
[ Stefan Zeniuk / Jazz Now Interactive, July 2002 ]