MP3 Burt Eckoff - Ecology
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11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Bebop
Burt Eckoff has been around the block a few times.
Between the mid-1960's and the mid 1990's, Burt has played regularly with an impressive list of prominent jazzmen, including Howard McGhee (1966-68), Maynard Ferguson (1967), Art Blakey (1968), Sonny Stitt (1979) and Archie Shepp (1981-82).
He has accompanied such outstanding vocalists as Dionne Warwick (1966), Dakota Staton (1974) and Eddie Jefferson (1978).
Each of these musical experiences has developed his playing.
Burt began playing the piano at the age of 5 in Providence, Rhode Island, and by the time he reached his teenage years, he was playing regularly at that city's renowned Celebrity Club.
He soon moved to Boston, Mass., where he played regularly while attending Boston University.
He finally settled in New York City, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Hunter College in 1983.
He has appeared frequently as a soloist and as a leader of his own trio in New York City and also in the West Indies.
In 1986, Burt began working for the Board of Education in New York City, teaching GED classes to adults.
He rejoined Dakota Staton in 1996, and also worked with bassist Ben Tucker in Savannah, Georgia.
Although primarily self-taught, he has studied with Bruce Potterton and the legendary Chicago pianist Chris Anderson in the 1970's and 1980's.
His first recording as a leader was released in Japan in 1994 under the Norma label (NLP9000), and features bassist Walter Booker and drummer Frank Gant.
The drummer on all eleven tracks is RUDY LAWLESS, a native New Yorker, who has worked and recorded with Rex Stewart, Etta Jones and Betty Roche among others.
BRYCE SEBASTIEN plays bass on tracks one, eight, ten and eleven.
On all the other tracks the bassist is ED FUQUA.
Burt met both bassists while working with Dakota Jackson.
For the opening track, Burt has chosen Ahmad Jamal's NIGHT MIST BLUES, a simple pensive melody played at an easy tempo, evoking images of late nights in an after-hours club.
Leroy Anderson's attractive SERENATA is set to a drum rhythm that Burt heard in 1977 when he was playing in Guadelupe in the French West Indies.
On the next to the last chorus he drops out and lets Lawless and Fuqua continue the background rhythm unadorned before returning to a final chorus of melody.
The lively blues line TRUDY'S DELIGHT, was written by a friend of Burt's, trumpeter Vincent Pitts, who recorded it in the late 1960's with saxophonist Yusef Lateef.
After several straight-ahead piano choruses, Burt gives two to Fuqua and then shares fours with Lawless before returning to the line for an out chorus.
On THEY SAY IT'S WONDERFUL, which Irving Berlin wrote for "Annie Get Your Gun" in 1946, Burt has overdubbed the melody and an improvised chorus on the melodica, a harmonica-like wind instrument that is played with a miniature keyboard. -BILL CROW-
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