"Art is the creative custodian of the truth"...Heidegger
"There is no true Art without secrecy"...Camus
Jack Reilly is a pianist, composer, and author whose work has achieved a remarkable synthesis of traditional classical music with jazz. His compositions and performances reflect his solid musicianship, intelligence and sophistication. The enthusiastic response his European tour with George Russell's New York Band and his subsequent performance with the band at the Village Vanguard in New York City; his concert at Jordan Hall in Boston with the Jack Reilly Trio, where he was given a standing ovation; his recordings and books --- three volumes on jazz improvisation entitled Species Blues, nine folios of his compositions and the acclaimed book The Harmony of Bill Evans confirms the scope of Reilly's talents and versatility.
Reilly has also presented lecture/recitals at numerous schools in North America and in Europe including presentations at the prestigious International Piano Festival and Competition at the University of Maryland. Formerly chairman of the Department of Jazz Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, he has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, New York University, The New School, The Berklee School of Music, and as chairman of the Jazz Program at La Musica A Villa Scarsella in Diano Marina, Italy.
His recordings include include albums of original material: Blue Sean Green, Tributes, The Brinksman, Masks, Here's What I Like, Tzu-Jan Volume 1 and 2, and two new releases, Pure Passion and Live in Poland, all on the Unichrom label.
His compositions include Jazz Requiem (1968), an Oratorio comissioned by the NEA (1974), Chuang-Tzu - Theme and Eight Variations for Orchestra (1993), Concertina for Jazz Piano and Strings(dedicated to Bill Evans), Lullabys for Orchestra, Fantasy for Piano and Wind Quintet(dedicated to George Russell), Piano Sonata in D Minor, and Concerto for Harmonica and Strings.
In 2001 his first Piano Concerto for jazz trio and orchestra, titled, Orbitals was premiered in Houghton Michigan,with the composer as soloist, with the Keweenaw Symphony, Jeff Bell-Hanson, conducting.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The Future of Jazz Part 2
I stummbled on a 2000 New York Times LETTER to EDITOR column that published letters from Keith Jarrett, Lew Tabakin Demaree Barnes and Larry Bluth. They were replying to Ben Ratliff's essay on the unimportance of the Jazz Solo, (the improvised solo, that is!). All the letters except Larry Bluth's pointed out the fact that the improvised solo is the bottom line; it is what makes Jazz exciting, relevant, and in the present tense therefore guaranteeing a future. Jarrett lamented the fact that there are no creative soloists around today to his ears! Ratliff quotes Wynton Marsalis as saying the solo is "just a distraction in between the written music". Excuse me! Jazz is not written down music; it is music created by the great improvisors on the spur of the moment. Jarrett, Tabakin and Barnes back me up on this in their letters. Ellington would be nothing without his powerful soloists. To play the old written or re-arranged charts of Ellington, Herman, Basie, Richards et al, does not keep Jazz alive and vital. It's in the small group where Jazz makes a case for a future.
Larry Bluth makes a valid point. He blames bland, boring solos on the way jazz is being taught in the universities as "instant Composition". This is an oxymoron! Jazz is instant improvisation (that's redundant). Composition is written down and takes months, sometimes years, to fully realize the work. It's a puzzle; how do we teach spontaneity? jazz improvisation? How do we teach Composition? My blog post below offers some insights.
More to come...
I just wanted to let you readers know that m still working on my discussion of the future of jazz. It was strange that I found this NYX page from 2000, in my files. I'm going to publish all the letters for you when I get permission.
See you soon.