MP3 Jass Cott - For Piano
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8 MP3 Songs
EASY LISTENING: Mood Music, CLASSICAL: Contemporary
Jass Cott, October 2nd, 1972.
About me and such
I started to play piano when I was about 5 or 6 years old. The upright piano at my parent's house (I have never been able to retrace the mark) was black, painted white (or white painted black). I remember that very well; the painting part. My father did it himself and so ruined the poor instrument. Some time later (at the beginning of the marvelous 80's) my father traded it in for a black Adolf Lehmann upright. He still owns that one.
My father taught me to read music and to play. Because I wanted him to. He was, like fathers are, my big example. That's how it went for a few years, for my dad decided that he was not a good enough teacher for me anymore and I went to take private lessons when I was, like, 9 years old. Or 10, who knows? Anyway, these lessons took place close to the Philips Soccer Stadium (home of PSV), downtown Eindhoven, on a small attic (114 steps, this steep, uncurving stairs were) by a very nice young lady. She was a good teacher and I enjoyed her lessons very much. What I never enjoyed, though, was the bike trip going to the lessons. After all, it was saturday morning. But I seemed to have been doing rather okay, though. I was also unpleasantly suprised when she, one day, after three years of lessons, told me she was going to move to Utrecht - thus meaning there'd be no more piano lessons. Here name was Anne.
Then another teacher came. A very good pianist with a most peculiar way of teaching. Watch this: the guy comes in, is being offered coffee by my mother (oh, my .. this is still the best coffee in the world, I wish I could invite all of you to come to the house and taste it!), takes out a sheet of blank sheet music, scatters three pens (one red, one blue and one green) on the table and starts drawing these dots on the sheet. Mostly after twenty minutes and three cigarettes (filterless Caballeros) there'd be a song, chords and explanation on the sheet; my homework for the week after. He taught me a lot about accompaniment and I still regret (at times) that, after having left The Netherlands for the States in 1990, I haven't restarted those lessons. I have not heard from him again.
And then; the Conservatory. Well, what is there to say? Nothing much. That's why I quit it,I guess. The competition, perhaps? Well, more probable it was (to me) how the school and it's studies seemed alienated from music. I never got the feeling there, that I was actually studying music. What then? Still beats me. The eternal rivalry between fellow students, the battles. Don't miss it. Don't want to. Music is worth so much more to me, that I prefer to keep to myself - if sharing automatically means being judged or weighed. The very reason that I have never played the piano a band. And although I'd like to do so, it looks like it'll be how it is; my wonderful August Förster grand piano and I. Better for everybody.
Then why do I record, have a website and even try to sell my music on the internet? Well, perhaps: the anonymity of it all. But, probably; because I think I might have done something not even so bad, by contributing my music and my ideas to all that's already out there. I still have probably about ten audio cassettes of me playing as a youth - for an imaginary audience. How much I liked that (and still like, to be honest). I love to record and listen to what I just played (not so much because I am always wildly enthousiastic about what I play), to maybe learn something - for learning you do most by listening. That can be an accidental chord, a melody of two. Anything at all (or nothing, for that matter). I wish I could quality record my music at my place. I'd be releasing lots of new things. Maybe not, but I'd be able and free to do what I want, when it comes to recording.
Apparently I did record some albums in a studio. The first is called Moon and Stars and Moon and Stars and all that Jazz and was recorded 10 years ago, in 1997. This was recorded in a studio in Eindhoven. I had rented the studio and recording equipment for half a day and wanted to record a long-play CD. And I did. All on that album is one take. I don't exactly remember, but I even think all tracks on the album are in the order I played them. For an occasional fade-out. I am not unhappy with the result, but I learned a valuable lesson; don't try to record a full album in just one day. As I was always a slow learner, I ventured to Châteaudun (France), late 2001 and when I came back, I did the same, when I recorded a second long play album called For Piano, in a day. This was in a recording studio in Nijmegen (The Netherlands), run by Egan Dyce. Again, no editing took place and (except for Autumn Leaves - that didn't even make it on the album, so why I am mentioning it at all?) all tracks were again one take. I am not very unhappy with the result and I think that I have learned the valuable lesson. I recently omitted the track "I'm Sure It's There" from the CD and replaced it with "Lejos Corazon" - an improvisation I did at my friend Chris B.'s place in Gent (Belgium), in 2001. I have plans, big plans this year (2007), to record a third solo album. I have moved to The Hague and I have no idea of where to start looking for recording facilities, but I'd like to record a new CD and share it around, again. I'd like it if you'd bear with me.
In the meantime, there's my first two albums here:
Moon and Stars and Moon and Stars and all that Jazz
and For Piano
I think I know that music goes deeper than just the notes you listen to. Some pianists that I greatly admire, as there are: Yosuke Yamashita, Bill Evans, Erroll Garner, Chick Corea, Jean Louis Steuerman, have shown me just that. Everyone has their idols, teachers, Gods even, and of course all we do is based on experiences from the past (and not to forget the present!), so I guess the before mentioned names have contributed something to a lot to the way I play and the way I consume, digest and are nurtured by music. My musical hero of all times, though, is Frank Zappa. And not only his music, but as well his visions on the subject (and on many others, as a matter of fact). The way he managed to mould air molecules into musical sculptures, will be a forever mystery for me. Nonetheless, I find his music as great, wonderful, funny, unique as it is divers, intellectual and original.
For Future Reference
Contacting me has never been easier. Here's how (please do!).
me on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/jasscott
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