Washington D.C.-based jazz pianist Geoffrey Dean
releases his new quartet album Foundations
featuring the great Harish Raghavan
on bass as well as Justin Copeland
on trumpet, and Eric Binder
Dr. Geoffrey Dean is a jazz pianist, composer, author and educator currently performing in the Washington DC area. Dean has recorded and performed with notable jazz musicians across the globe including Terell Stafford
, Steve Turre
, Greg Tardy
, and many others. Dr. Dean recently published an educational book on jazz harmony titled Kenny Kirkland's Harmonic and Rhythmic Language: A Model For The Modern Jazz Pianist
. Dean has also contributed as an author on modern jazz piano approaches for the Masterclass series in Downbeat Magazine.
The debut Foundations
features a straight-ahead Jazz repertoire of lesser-known hard bop compositions from some of the era’s greatest composers and beyond, played with modern sensibilities. These compositions were chosen as music that has been foundational in the group’s growth as musicians, while many may not be known as common “standards”. This quartet features some of the most in demand working, talented instrumentalists in jazz today.
Recorded in Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, Foundations
explores a variety of Hard Bop repertoire including a warm spacious interpretation of “Cyclic Episode” by Sam Rivers. Two compositions from the great Sonny Clark
including the bluesy and grooving “Blue Minor”, as well as the tenderly approached beautiful ballad, “My Conception”. Duke Pearson
’s circular “Is That So” is explored with a laid back open feel, and Elmo
Hope’s short form “Low Tide” is a lesser known composition that serves as a strong vehicle for improvisation. Peter Bernstein
’s “Jet Stream” is an up-tempo modern composition with a bop feel that fits well amongst this repertoire. Andrew Hill
’s quirky and unconventional blues “Yokada Yokada” is also explored by the quartet. Unique arrangements of the better known “Nardis” by Miles Davis
and “E.S.P.” by Wayne Shorter
are included offering two more recognizable standards into the mix.
Since meeting while pursuing their Doctoral Jazz Studies at the University Of Illinois, Dean, Binder, and Copeland have now played together for almost a decade. The addition of world renowned bassist Harish Raghavan to this ensemble and recording it in prestigious Bunker Studio has produced a beautiful sounding and uniquely modern jazz quartet album for 2024 rooted in tradition.
Listen to Foundations