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Edward Simon: Sorrows & Triumphs

Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed eponymous debut record (Red Records) and subsequent sophomore outing Océanos (Criss Cross Records), in 2007, Edward Simon has now once more gathered together the power quartet Afinada, featuring Brian Blade on drums, David Binney on sax and bassist Scott Colley. With the addition of the Imani Winds chamber quintet and the striking presence of guests Gretchen Parlato on vocals and guitarist Adam Rogers Sorrows & Triumphs proves one of the most intricate ...

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Edward Simon: Sorrows & Triumphs

Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This project by pianist Edward Simon blends together many diverse elements. The music combines classical formalism with jazz energy and is performed by a combination of Simon's jazz quartet, Afinidad, and the woodwind quintet, Imani Winds, with some guest musicians added in. The compositions themselves are movements of two separate suites written by Simon, “Sorrows And Triumphs," inspired by Buddhist philosophy, and “House Of Numbers," inspired by numerology, rearranged into a cohesive set of music. The end result of all ...

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Edward Simon with Afinidad & Imani Winds: Sorrows & Triumphs

Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist Edward Simon's sensitivity, eloquence, strength, and intelligence stand in full view throughout this gorgeous collection of material plucked from two different suites. “Sorrows and Triumphs," the older of the two, which draws inspiration from Simon's study of Buddhism, first surfaced in 2009. “House of Numbers," taking cues from numerology and weaving cross-cultural implications into its fabric, saw its debut in 2016. Here, four numbers from the latter, three from the former, and a wondrously flowing opener originally penned for ...

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Edward Simon: Venezuelan Suite

Read "Venezuelan Suite" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Venezuelan Suite is pianist Edward Simon's love letter to his homeland, but that's not all it is; it's the perfect confluence of Venezuelan ideals, jazz language and chamber-esque sophistication. In short, it's a masterpiece. While every country has its musical adherents in American jazz circles, some are sorely underrepresented. That's why it's so vitally important when somebody like saxophonist Miguel Zenon comes along and bridges the gap between jazz and the music of Puerto Rico, or when ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Edward Simon Trio: Live in New York at Jazz Standard

Read "Edward Simon Trio: Live in New York at Jazz Standard" reviewed by John Kelman

Some artists maintain a busy release schedule, putting out an album a year--sometimes, in the case of musicians like guitarist Bill Frisell, even more frequently--while others, for a variety of reasons, are less prolific. Pianist Edward Simon has, in recent years, been issuing albums with broader distribution under his own name--which automatically discounts 2010's independently released but undeniably fine Danny Boy--about once every three years on labels ranging from The Netherlands' Criss Cross to Italy's Cam Jazz. Live in New ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Edward Simon

Read "Take Five With Edward Simon" reviewed by Edward Simon

Meet Edward Simon: The process by which Simon became an internationally regarded jazz musician began in the small coastal town of Cardon, Venezuela, where he grew up surrounded by the sounds of Latin and Caribbean music. Born in 1969, Simon credits his father, Hadsy, for developing his passion for music and supporting him and his two brothers, Marlon and Michael, to become professional musicians. Upon arriving on the New York jazz scene in 1989, his ...

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Edward Simon: Poesia

Read "Poesia" reviewed by John Kelman

With a winning combination, it's rarely a good idea to mess with it. Pianist Edward Simon has recorded with a number of great trios, including the one at the core of Simplicitas (Criss Cross, 2005). His music took a giant leap forward, however--in terms of composition, arrangement and performance--with Unicity (Cam Jazz, 2006), featuring bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The greater freedom, latitude and time that Cam allows its artists is surely another factor, as opposed to Criss ...

INTERVIEWS

Edward Simon: La Música Bilingüe (Bilingual Music)

Read "Edward Simon: La Música Bilingüe (Bilingual Music)" reviewed by Jason Crane

Pianist Edward Simon was born in Punta Cardón, Venezuela. His entire family was composed of musicians, and as a young man, Simon's evident talent led his father to send him to study in the U.S., where he won scholarships in classical piano at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and in jazz at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Harold Danko. While a student in his teens, Simon performed with Philly guitarist Kevin Eubanks and saxophonist ...

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Edward Simon: Unicity

Read "Unicity" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Pianist Edward Simon's seventh CD as a leader is his best effort to date. On display are his gifts as an improviser, composer and arranger with two sympathetic partners--bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The entire CD has the feeling of a suite, rather than separate unrelated tracks that just happened to be recorded during the same session, even though the leader did not compose everything himself. The Venezuela-born pianist's light touch works in his favor as he restrains ...

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Edward Simon: Unicity

Read "Unicity" reviewed by John Kelman

Artistic evolution is an interesting phenomenon. Emerging musicians, filled with the brashness of youth, are often more focused on chops, energy and complexity. But as many mature they evolve into players more concerned with space and profound simplicity. Edward Simon is a strong case in point: the pianist's earlier albums are filled with detailed compositions and an almost pathological approach to blending his South American roots with the sophisticated language of modern jazz.

Recently he's been paring down his approach, ...

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Edward Simon: Unicity

Read "Unicity" reviewed by Robert R. Calder

Edward Simon, John Patitucci and Brian Blade did a few magical things on a 2003 album under Patitucci's name (Songs, Stories and Spirituals, Concord). At the time these three musicians decided that they ought to get together and do, well, what they do well here. After a minute's “Invocation," they're jamming heartily on Patitucci's “The Messenger," as if they'd met up overjoyed at three in the morning and were so accomplished they could do everything unbridled without disturbing a neighbour. ...

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Edward Simon: Unicity

Read "Unicity" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Pianist Edward Simon has been quietly but profoundly making an impact for a number of years. He's been an astute sideman with high-caliber players like trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Greg Osby and guitarist Adam Rogers, but it is his own works--The Process (Criss Cross, 2003) and Simplicitas (Criss Cross, 2005)--that truly reveal his performance and compositional prowess. Edwards explores the mystic of the piano trio again on Unicity, joined by two other outstanding musicians: bassist John Patitucci ...


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