After listening multiple times to Ted Piltzecker’s newest release Standing Alone, a listener may easily conclude that this CD should be required listening for any aspiring vibraphonist. While Piltzecker’s work should not relegated to merely a pedagogical model of technique, it would however, be impossible to overlook the incredible sound Piltzecker draws from his instrument, his dynamic rhythmic sense and impeccably consistent time—certainly qualities worth modeling.
When first confronting Standing Alone which consists of Piltzecker performing thirteen tried and true standards on unaccompanied solo vibraphone (the one exception is on the tune “La Malanga” on which he accompanies himself on djimbe), a listener could be concerned as to whether the recording would contain an adequate amount of variety to hold the ear’s interest. Piltzecker’s performance and creative approaches to these well-known tunes certainly assuages those concerns. He strikes a pleasing balance of harmonic structure within the context of embellishing familiar melodies and demonstrates a great creative inventiveness and harmonic sense. His improvisatory flights of fancy likewise are inventive yet do not stray too distant from melodic reminders of the original tune. Also, Piltzecker’s use of double time as contrast in the slower tempo ballads on the recording is insouciantly seamless and effective.
Musicians, music educators, music students and especially students of the vibraphone should have a great deal of interest in Piltzecker’s recording. Likewise, the jazz aficionado will find Piltzecker’s creative inventiveness in the context of a minimal musical circumstance a satisfying listening experience. For the general listener who perhaps does not marvel in the rapture of great musical technique for the sake of technical artistry Standing Alone still offers a set of nicely performed familiar tunes to delight the ear.
Track Listing: My Romance, My One And Only Love, In Your Own Sweet Way, In A Sentimental Mood, Trieste, God Bless The Child, Body And Soul, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Blue In Green, Invitation, Like Someone In Love, Naima, La Malanga
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.