Art Lande - piano
A native New Yorker (born February 5, 1947), Lande parlayed his classical studies and love of Bill Evans into a wholly unique piano voice. After studying at Williams College, he moved to San Francisco in 1969 and became something of a regional hero there through the '70s. He recorded with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and trumpeter Ted Curson in 1973 before forming the Rubisa Patrol quartet with Mark Isham on trumpet, Bill Douglass on bass, and Glenn Cronkhite (later replaced by Kurt Wortmann) on drums. Their self-titled debut was released in 1976 on the ECM label. They followed with 1977's Desert Marauders on ECM and over the next few years garnered something of a cult following in both Europe and the United States. After disbanding the Rubisa Patrol, Lande taught at The Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle in 1983 and the following year moved to Switzerland, where he taught for three years at a jazz school in St. Gallen. He returned to the States in 1987 and began teaching at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where he still resides.
Lande collaborated through the '80s and '90s with such creative artists as trumpeters Mark Isham and Ron Miles, multi-reed player Paul McCandless, saxophonist Fred Hess, guitarist Jerry Hahn and New Age pioneer George Winston. From 1988-1990 he collaborated on a children's series for Windham Hill, creating music for 2 Bad Mice (with narration by Meryl Streep), 3 Little Pigs and 3 Billy Goat's Gruff (with narration by Holly Hunter) and Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood (with narration by Meg Ryan). He has also recorded several distinctive solo piano albums, including 1996's Friday the Thirteenth, featuring 13 Thelonious Monk compositions. Lande continues to record as a leader and as a sideman. In 2005, he appeared on guitarist Nguyen Le's Walking on the Tiger's Tail and in 2010 on saxophonist Bruce Williamson's Standard Transmission, a freewheeling project full of clever extrapolations on familiar pop and jazz themes. His most recent recording as a leader is 2009's While She Sleeps, a collection of solo piano lullabies.
For this solo piano recital at the Great American Music Hall, Lande extrapolates on several themes. He opens this 1976 performance with a stirring interpretation of the jazz standard "Star Eyes" that is full of daring reharmonizations and contrapuntal statements. Next up is a wildly creative, herky-jerky reinvention of Thelonious Monk's "Friday the 13th" that is followed by a restful interpretation of the melancholy jazz standard "Angel Eyes." He continues with a brief, playful birthday song he composed for his sister-in-law Chris in honor of her 24th birthday. Lande showcases his chops on a burning Latin-flavored number and concludes his GAMH set with a mellow meditation on Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader," which he playfully pulls apart like taffy and reconfigures to his liking, throwing in a brief quote from "There Is No Greater Love" at the tag.
Fans of Keith Jarrett's solo piano concerts will be intrigued by Lande's singular interpretations of familiar jazz themes on this daring solo piano concert.
-Written by Bill Milkowski