Jim Beard's debut solo piano.
Being the editor of the Keep (it) Swinging blog a lot of known and unknown artists pass my desktop. It’s always a pleasure to listen to their latest albums and to learn more about young artists, who hope to make a career in jazz. A few weeks ago I received an album by Jim Beard entitled Show of Hands. The album contains twenty solo piano pieces, or in fact a dozen tracks, with some small interludes, entitled Haiku’s. The music soundsd great ….. Who is this, for me unknown, piano player? Why didn't I ever hear his music? Why haven't I heard his name: Jim Beard?
Jim Beard: Show of Hands (Moosicus)
I found an interview by Jonathan Widran of Jazz Monthly, that gave me good reason, that I’d never heard of Jim Beard: But if you’ve been a jazz fan these past few decades and the celebrated pianist is still a fresh name for you, the intro of the interview reads: There’s a good reason—he’s been in such high demand as a session and touring sideman and composer for other greats that it’s been a challenge time-wise to maintain his momentum as an artist in his own right.
Jim Beard (Source: jimbeard.com)
Jim Beard debuted on record with the 21st Century Bebop Band, early 1980s, and was invited to record with great names like John McLaughlin. In 1985 he moved to New York and became part of the John McLaughlin Mahavishnu Touring Band and performed and recorded with jazz musicans from the 1980s New York Jazz scene like Mike Stern, Wayne Shorter and saxophonist Bill Evans to list some …..
Listen to The Gentleman and Hizcaine, one of the tracks of Jim Beard's album Show of Hands:
In the summer of 1990 Jim debuted with a record under his own name, featuring great names like Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Wayne Shorter and good old Toots Thielemans.
Show of Hands is his first solo piano album. Jim told Jonathan Widran how he loved to have the studio to himself .. to have the freedom to plan his day ….. Some songs were done after having coffee, some after taking a 3-4 mile run, and a few after drinking some wine. ...When you play with an ensemble you have strength in numbers and someone else is keeping time, but here I’m exposed and naked, but it’s a great feeling not to have to worry if I should suddenly choose to drop time and do something more freely.
His previous albums under his own name were …. audio examples of his musicial daydreams …. With the piano album Show of Hands he didn’t want to be sucked musically in one bag …. The album contains a dozen tracks, half his own compositions and arrangements and half by composers like Wayne Shorter, who recorded Face On The Barroom Floor in 1984 with Weather Report; Dizzy Gillespie’s Woody ‘n ‘ You; and some standards like My One And Only Love and Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose.
|(photo courtesy: Hans Koert)|
A great refreshing piano album, that's very morish to me! Findyourself a copy!
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Making a solo piano album was a great experience for Jim Beard, for decades a sought after accompanist and composer. When you play with an ensemble you have strength in numbers and someone else is keeping time, but here I’m exposed and naked, he said, but it’s a great feeling not to have to worry if I should suddenly choose to drop time and do something more freely. Get your copy of this great Jim Beard piano album: Show of Hands
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