Pianist John Gentry Tennyson’s use of impressionism blends a classical style with a cocktail lounge player’s sense of adventure. To prepare for this project, Tennyson lived in Monte Carlo for three months, absorbing the overlapping essence of French, Spanish and Italian cultures. Jazz, of course, is represented in the pianist’s swinging approach to these ethnic flavors and in his keen sense of spontaneity. A child piano prodigy who majored in jazz studies and performance at North Texas State, Tennyson paints vivid musical landscapes for his audience. Along with congas and a loping acoustic bass, the pianist takes us for a scenic drive on "Europa," staying on all the high roads. The deep bass register of the piano changes the day’s mood through "Fortunato," while "Milonga Sinistra" offers a dramatic tango with bandoneon and string quartet. "La Mer à Monaco" rolls over ocean waves on a stormy day, while "La Principessa" steps lightly on the toes of violin and piano. Two arrangements of "Vesna e Zorica" offer separate studies of the lyrical classical ballad. Violinist Joyce Hammann provides a weepy setting with piano accompaniment, while Tennyson performs the reprise alone in a dramatic but less sentimental delivery. Musical impressionism from a small piano-led ensemble offers a penny for your thoughts, but what becomes of that tiny investment is up to you.
Track Listing: Preludio; Citt
Personnel: John Gentry Tennyson- piano; Jeffrey Carney- bass; Satoshi Takeishi- percussion; Raul Jaurena- bandoneon; String Quartet: Joyce Hammann, Dana Ianculovici- violin; Charles Adams- viola; Michael Fitzpatrick- cello; Joyce Hammann- violin on "Vesna e Zorica;" Todd Reynolds- violin on "La Principessa;"
Learning Jazz gave me a masters degree in music. Jazz is American Classical Music, came
out of a need to be heard, to be understood, a voice when black America did not have one.
This is why the music is more than just an art form, it was created from blood, guts and heart
of those who suffered in this world. Its not to be taken lightly. If you do take it lightly it will
never sound right. Thank you to all the courageous musicians who made the world hear
them, their innovation came out of their experiences of the time that they lived. A treasure to
the world. American Classical Music. Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate a quote by Clark Terry.