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Solo Thoughts

Solo Thoughts

  • By Shep Meyers
  • Release 30/01/2007
  • Music Genre Jazz
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £11.14

Product Notes

ABOUT SHEP MEYERS Shep Meyers is a pianist, conductor, composer and arranger, from New York City, who has been living in San Diego, California for the past thirty years. His impressive list of credits include recording with Ella Fitzgerald, and playing with other musical greats such as Woody Herman, Billy Daniels, Julie London, Terry Gibbs, and Anita O'Day, as well as playing for comedians Lenny Bruce, Steve Allen, Redd Foxx, and Henny Youngman. Shep served as conductor for comedian George Burns, and for Johnny Carson at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. REVIEWS ____ SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR, June, 2007 Shep Meyers--'Solo Thoughts' by Craig Yerkes Jazz is a bit like live theater in that one of the most exciting aspects of the art form is the interaction among players. Hence, solo jazz reminds me a bit like one-man theater. If the one doing all of the work isn't able to bring enough to the party, it's gonna be one long, boring party. Solo Thoughts, the latest one-man/one-piano offering from Shep Meyers, easily manages to pull off the very difficult task of keeping the music exciting and very enjoyable in an ultra challenging format. One of the hardest things about the one-man jazz band thing is keeping time and making it all sound fluid. Shep Meyers either has one hell of an internal metronome or else he has a mini Max Roach sitting on his shoulder. This music is dead on, rhythmically, swinging hard when it needs to and effortlessly pushing and pulling the tempos when called for. Only the masters can do it like this. The approach that Mr. Meyers takes on this recording reminds me of a slightly more restrained version of Teddy Wilson with some reminders of early Thelonious Monk. The selection of material and the way the tracks are placed is amazingly effective, incorporating wonderful standards and one very nice original composition. 'You Go to My Head' was the perfect choice for track one because if offers up what I feel is the most complete picture of the artistry Meyers is able to bring to these classic tunes. The melody and chord structure are kept pleasingly intact, yet the improvisational, personalized touches are expertly applied in ways that will keep you interested in what comes next. The solo section on this opening track is like a master class in jazz improvisation in the way that the artist seamlessly merges his ultra melodic approach with some higher octane bop and blues runs. While the entire discs truly shines, 'I'm Getting Sentimental Over You' and 'You Stepped Out of a Dream' are the other tracks that really had me on the edge of my musical seat with their cool and beautiful twists (stellar solos on both). Even the oft-covered, ubiquitous 'Autumn Leaves' is done in a way that makes it sound fresh. Billy Strayhorn's touching and haunting swan song 'Blood Count' is a brilliant choice for the closer. This last track had me picturing Mr. Meyers sitting in a lonely bar, playing this beautiful music at closing time, pouring out his heart and soul to the last few patrons. The life of a jazz musician is never lonelier than when the artist has to go it alone, but Meyers embraces the solitude with heart, confidence, and gusto. Solo Thoughts leaves you with a feeling that you've just been treated to a wonderful expression of the artists' individuality, blended deliciously with the musical etchings left on his soul by all of the cats the man has ever shared a stage with. _____ PORTLAND JAZZ SCENE, May, 2007 by George Fendel. Solo Thoughts, Shep Meyers, piano. One of the most satisfying experiences in jazz is to put on a solo piano disc by someone who can pull off the task. You see, there's nowhere to hide when you go it alone. Either you've got the chops or you don't. Shep Meyers is a San Diego pianist who more than gets the job done on such winners as You Go To My Head, Have You Met Miss Jones, I Thought About You, Skylark, There's A Small Hotel, and even Billy Strayhorn's stunning Blood Count. A dozen more winners complete a beautiful, recital-like performance. 4 Stars. _____ L.A. JAZZ SCENE, April, 2007 by Bob Agnew Shep Meyers has been living in San Diego for some thirty years now, but he is a graduate of the New York scene. In his earlier days there, he was an arranger for the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He also composed, arranged and conducted the music for over 500 radio and television commercials. During his career he has played with a raft of jazz greats ranging from Coleman Hawkins, Gary Foster, Art Pepper, Sal Nistico, Conte Candoli, Bob Magnusson, Charlie Haden--the list goes on. After all of this time, Meyers thought it might be interesting to do a solo piano album of some of his favorite songs. He wanted nothing complicated--just him and the recording engineer, Charlie Weller. He told Weller, "Just get a good sound and keep it rolling. No earphones, no slating the tunes, no punch-in edits or ten takes on every tune to assure a 'perfectly sanitized product.' Just do it the same way as if I were playing in my living room." He picked the tunes that came to mind as he sat at the piano. Shep Meyers, Solo Thoughts, Jazz Piano is the result. It features sixteen marvelous songs including "You Go To My Head", "Sunshine Morning" (his composition), "Have You Met Miss Jones?, "The Very Thought of You" (a song to which he and his wife had their first dance together), "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Blood Count". These and several other songs, spontaneously programmed as it were, created a class act. Meyers' crisp, facile artistry at the piano produced a recording you will enjoy time and again. _____ eJazznews.com---Tuesday, January 30, 2007 CD Reviews: Shep Meyers..Solo Thoughts By John Gilbert Shep Meyers has chosen his tunes wisely and he performs them with style and finesse. From 'Have You Met Miss Jones' which he swings nicely, to the haunting Strayhorn piece 'Blood Count' Meyers takes command of his instrument and pays tribute to the composers with due deference to their intent. Stylistically Meyers runs the gamut from a hint of stride to a (melodic) manner befitting an intimate club scene as he plumbs the depths of these beautiful standards. 'Small Hotel' is a tune that is not often heard these days and Shep Meyers drains the bottom out of every note. 'Skylark' is a composition that has some of the best lyrics ever written and even sans words this piece has a melody that speaks volumes and Shep Meyers exhibits some introspection and ideation that Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer would be delighted with. Meyers' solo interpretations are first class and well worth the price of admission, as it were. 5 Stars.

Details

Artist: Shep Meyers
Title: Solo Thoughts
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 30/01/2007
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 634479435805
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