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MP3 Dan Karlsberg - The Adventures Of The Dan Karlsberg Group

A mix of adventurous jazz compositions, standards and originals, performed by a group with a fresh sound.

12 MP3 Songs in this album (61:48) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Mainstream Jazz, JAZZ: Modern Creative Jazz

People who are interested in Wayne Shorter Thelonious Monk Andrew Hill should consider this download.

The debut CD by Cincinnati jazz musician Dan Karlsberg, "The Adventures of the Dan Karlsberg Group," is aptly titled. For over an hour, "Adventures" takes listeners on a dreamy, round-the-world journey of multicultural musical styles, from mystical Asian melodies to Chicago-cool and even a touch of classic folk music turned inside-out.

The international influences heard on "Adventures" are not surprising, considering the diversity of the Dan Karlsberg Group. Karlsberg, a classically-trained pianist and composer, is Jewish. Drummer Anthony "T" Lee is African-American and is the nephew of jazz guitarist Wilbert Longmire. Bassist Steve Whipple is Japanese-American and the son of world-renowned Japanese organist Mamiko Iwasaki.

"We have such different backgrounds," Karsberg says. "We grew up listening to different types of music, so we bring a wide range of influences to the table. As a group, we have developed our own unique style. We use form, tempo, and style as tools for improvisation, in addition to more traditional ways.”

It is worth noting that "The Adventures of the Dan Karlsberg Group" marks the recording debut of guest vocalist Mica Darley, niece of the legendary singer Rosemary Clooney. Darley, who lives in Cincinnati, performs on two cuts, including one that she co-write with Karlsberg, entitled "Home in the ''Nati," one of five original compositions on the album. With such lyrics as, "When did winter come? I watch the walkers with their collars turned," the song is a poetic, stream-of-conscious celebration of life in Cincinnati. "Here I am unknown, but I am home," sings Darley, as Karlsberg accompanies her on his piano in a style reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi.

Also guest-appearing on "The Adventures of the Dan Karlsberg Group" is flute and saxophone great Sandy Suskind. Suskind plays flute on four tracks, including “Magdelena''s Musette,” a complex, three-part composition by Karlsberg, and the melancholy “Vielle Priere Bouddhique,” a piece Suskind introduced to Karlsberg by the great French composer Lili Boulanger.

"Sandy Suskind has done a lot of amazing work, but I honestly believe that some of his best recorded playing is on this CD," Karlsberg says.

While decidedly a jazz CD, “The Adventures of the Dan Karlsberg Group” draws from other musical genres, as well. There is, for example, a playful, nine-minute rendition of “Oh! Susanna” as the Stephen Foster classic has never been heard before – no banjo, no twang, just Karlsberg alternately pounding and tickling the piano as partners Lee and Whipple introduce new ideas and rhythms with their respective drums and bass.

Karlsberg counts among his musical influences such geniuses as John Coltrane, Andrew Hill, Wayne Shorter and Gerri Allen. He pays homage to Coltrane and Hill on his CD with the tunes "Monk''s Dance," inspired by a theme by Coltrane, and "Yellow Violet," written by Hill.

Karlsberg began studying piano at the age of 4, while growing up in the Cincinnati suburb of Springdale, Ohio. The deciding moment that would change the musical direction of his life came at age 11, when his piano teacher, Karl Payne, brought him sheet music for an old Thomas "Fats" Waller song.

"That was the first time I had ever heard jazz piano, and I knew right away it''s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," Karlsberg says. "It just kept going from there."

While a student at Princeton High School, Karlsberg studied classical music, but never lost his interest in jazz. After graduating from high school in 1997, he continued his education at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he earned both bachelor’s degree and a master''s degree in jazz studies. Although he continues to study and teach classical piano, when it comes to performing for an audience, Karlsberg prefers the freedom of jazz.

"Classical music is a great foundation for every other musical genre," he says. "The structure and melodies are so important. I often take classical ideas and put them into a jazz context."

Karlsberg has performed with several prominent jazz artists, including the John Fedchock Quartet, the Dan Fehnle Quartet, Ira Sullivan, John Von Ohlen, the DeFelice Big Band, Mary Ellen Tanner and others. He teaches annually at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, and has been a guest instructor at the University of Dayton. He also teaches individual students through Mehas Music in Blue Ash.

Dan Karlsberg - piano
Steve Whipple - bass
Anthony Lee - drums
Mica Darley - voice (tracks 3 and 6)
Sandy Suskind - flute (tracks 2, 5, 8, and 11)

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