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Joe Alterman

All About Jazz user Joe Alterman

United States

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Young pianist greatly infuenced by Red Garland, Hank Jones, and Oscar Peterson

New Yorker Joe Alterman is a jazz pianist whose playing is a joyous throwback to the keyboard stylists of the 1950s. His remarkable debut CD, Piano Tracks (Vol. 1), was recorded in 2009 and skillfully revives the art of graceful improvisation, which has been lost today on many younger players. On the album's five standards, Alterman mixes the tasteful phrasings of Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Billy Taylor and other piano legends with his own distinct approach. The result is that classics such as I Cover the Waterfront, I've Got a Crush On You and Days of Wine and Roses sound perfectly fresh and new. By merging the patient touch of past pianists with his own contemporary sound, Alterman manages to revitalize the familiar, rekindling memories of why you started listening to jazz in the first place. On the album's five original compositions, Alterman strives for a cozy feel that makes soulful use of swing and the blues. Born in Atlanta, Alterman, 21, studied with pianist Gary Motley (now director of jazz studies at Emory University). At New York University, Alterman studied piano and harmony with Don Friedman. Alterman has performed at New York's Blue Note and has played with Brian Lynch, Ralph Lalama, Billy Drummond and Mike Richmond, among others.

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