Bob Szajner

Bob Szajner is a bopster and prolific composer who has been in and out of the jazz scene since the 1950s.

About Me

THUMBNAIL BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Everyone has their own story, this is Bob Szajner's, hopefully interesting to the reader. Born on September 12, 1938, he grew up listening to talented relatives playing various instruments. His mother taught him the basics of music and how to play piano at a very early age. In 1948, he won first prize in the “Frankie Carle Piano Contest”. This entitled him to one weeks performance at the Fox Theater in Detroit. He was one of the opening acts on the bill (a vaudeville theme) for Billie Holiday along with a comedian and an acrobatic duo. He enjoyed listening to her (Billie Holiday's) style of music and accompaniment for her. This was the beginning of his quest for his own personal style. Ten years later, for at least ten years, he started writing and performing “Modern Jazz” later known as “Bebop” and then later as “Hard Bop”. He performed with many musicians from the “Detroit Jazz” scene at various sessions, venues and jazz clubs throughout the Detroit Metropolitan Area. He often worked with Donald Byrd, Charlie McPherson, Lonnie Hillyer, Roy Brooks, Yuseff Lateef, Pepper Adams, Frank Isola, and others as a back-up piano player. For the next ten years, he wrote some tunes, but really became quite dismayed and disappointed with the business of music, especially, the lack of audience. Then on October 8, 1978 (his 18Th wedding anniversary), he recorded material for an album with his old school friend, drummer Roy Brooks and his bass man Ray McKinney. ”The Bob Szajner Triad” was a three record set of his original compositions. A twenty-seven tune recording session performing original music never played before or rehearsed and without second takes. This was the “Triad “concept. This lead to performances at “The Cafe Detroit”, “The Detroit Jazz Center”, and the “Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival 1981”. The CD album “the best of TRIAD” (CD07TA8081) featuring Ray McKinney on bass and Roy Brooks on drums (The Bob Szajner Triad I) was a studio recording from 1978. The CD albums “the lost tapes” (CD07TA8104) and “center\\\cuts” (CD07TA8106) featuring Ed Pickens on bass and Frank Isola on drums (The Bob Szajner Triad II), were recorded in 1981 at “The Detroit Jazz Center World Stage”. All are on RMS007 Records and are released twenty-six years later as his historical tribute to his former musician friends. Also, originally recorded in 1981, The Bob Szajner Triad II performance at the “Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival 1981” has recently been released (27 years later)on Cadence Jazz Records-Redwood NY (CJR1215) in their “Historical Series”. And lastly, 27 years later, recorded at the Jazz Cafe/Detroit Music Hall in fall of 2008, “on the bench_in the zone” (CD08TA8107/RMS008 Records) featuring Bob Szajner on piano, Ed Pickens on bass, and Allan Colding on drums (The Bob Szajner Triad Iv) has just been released.

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