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Joe Alterman


Atlanta native Joe Alterman expresses a certain upbeat naivete, with a broad smile and bright eyes that make you feel welcome. One would not guess that this is a man hailed by greats; Ramsey Lewis describes his piano playing as ‘a joy to behold’, Les McCann states ‘As a man and musician he is already a giant’. Journalist Nat Hentoff championed three of Alterman’s albums, as well as his writing (Joe wrote liner notes to three Wynton Marsalis/JALC albums, calling one of Joe’s columns “one of the very best pieces on the essence of jazz, the spirit of jazz, that I’ve ever read, and I’m not exaggerating.” Joe Alterman began at NYU with a BA and Masters in Jazz Piano, followed by performances with Houston Person, Les McCann, Dick Gregory, and Ramsey Lewis


The Upside of Down

Label: Ropeadope
Released: 2021
Track listing: The Smudge; Pretty Eyes, Pretty Smile; Ose Shalom; Time After Time; The First Night Home; Pure Imagination; The Last Time I Saw You; Funny Girl; The Upside Of Down; Days Of Wine And Roses; Don't Forget To Love Yourself; Gus Gus; Like Someone In Love; Nina Never Knew.


Article: Interview

Joe Alterman: Swinging Success

Read "Joe Alterman: Swinging Success" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

It was 2012 when pianist Joe Alterman was preparing to play at the famed Blue Note jazz club in lower Manhattan, not far from where he went to college, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in music. Alterman was checking the sound. The club was basically empty. An older man came in, wheelchair-bound, heading toward the stage. ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Joe Alterman: Seeking wisdom from the masters

Read "Joe Alterman: Seeking wisdom from the masters" reviewed by Leo Sidran

In this episode, pianist Joe Alterman talks about his new record The Upside of Down, southern charm, “finding in jazz and black music what [he] had tried to find in Synagogue," tipping the doorman, being born 50 years too late, playing for regular people, using adversity as an opportunity, what he learned from his friendships with ...


News: Recording

Joe Alterman: The Upside of Down

Joe Alterman: The Upside of Down

Yesterday I spent the day writing and riding out Hurricane Henri while listening to Joe Alterman's new album, The Upside of Down (Ropeadope). Joe not only is a gifted jazz pianist but also is a rarity in jazz—someone who sifts through the history of the jazz piano like an archeologist. He also is immensely likeable. His ...


Article: Live Review

Joe Alterman Trio with John Sandfort at The Jazz Corner

Read "Joe Alterman Trio with John Sandfort at The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie

The Joe Alterman Trio with John Sandfort The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island October 12-13, 2018 The Joe Alterman Trio played back-to-back nights at The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island, with special guest John Sandfort joining on tenor saxophone. The quartet played two openers together before Sandfort ...

News: Recording

Joe Alterman: Comin' Home

Joe Alterman: Comin' Home

If you're like me, you probably grow frustrated when you run out of early recordings by pianists such as Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, Gene Harris and Les McCann. You know, pianists who listened to themselves as they played and loved more than anything to swing and move souls. These pianists had a healthy respect ...


Article: Year in Review

Bruce Lindsay's Best Releases of 2012

Read "Bruce Lindsay's Best Releases of 2012" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The year of 2012 proved once again that jazz remains a wonderfully diverse and diverting art form. Here are ten of my favorite albums, in no particular order.Christine TobinSailing To Byzantium(Trail Belle)A joy from first note to last, this is a majestic and beautiful work. Ian ...


Give Me The Simple Life

Label: Miles High Records
Released: 2012
Track listing: Georgia On My Mind; Give Me The Simple Life; The First Night Home; Pure Imagination; An Affair To Remember; I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest; Kelly's Blues; Why Try To Change Me Now?; Why Do I Love You?; Biscuits; They Say It's Spring; I'm Yours.


Article: Interview

James Cammack: Where You At?

Read "James Cammack: Where You At?" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Oftentimes, it's only the passing of time that can offer true perspective. In years to come, bassist James Cammack may look back on 2012 as the year when--after over 30 years in the business--he truly began his musical adventure in earnest. After 29 years playing bass in the ensembles of piano legend Ahmad Jamal, Cammack was, ...


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