John Salmon Trio March 2011
March 25th, 2011
University of Louisville
Bird Recital Hall
John Salmon Trio
John Salmon, piano
Steve Haines, bass
Thomas Taylor, drums
View the program
Low Down Thad Jones
Mari Pino John Salmon
Girl from Ipanema Antonio Carlos Jobim
Off Minor Thelonious Monk
Lluvia en Málaga John Salmon
Life So Far John Salmon
Nine Years Later Thomas Taylor
Just One of Those Things Cole Porter
“Low Down” was originally for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band. Bassist Steve Haines came up with this piano trio version. “Swing” is the operative word here. This is Steve’s favorite piece…notice how he gets into it!
“Mari Pino” refers to my wife. While a lot of people, such as her college Spanish students and philology colleagues, see her as an imposing intellect and demanding professor, to me she is laid back, informal, and inviting—like a slow, Earl Hines stride number from the 1930s. This piece is on my recently released CD “Salmon Is A Jumpin’,” Albany Records, TROY 1224. I think tonight we may segue directly from “Low Down” into “Mari Pino.” If it’s slow, it’s “Mari Pino.”
“Girl from Ipanema” is one of the most famous pieces ever and helped usher in the hugely popular bossa nova movement of the early 1960s. We do it a little differently – in 3/4 meter instead of the usual 2/2 and with some polyrhythms laid over it.
“Off Minor” is a quirky title—since the piece is in G minor but turns toward major keys too—from undoubtedly the quirkiest jazz musician ever to walk the earth. Monk’s personality is stamped on every note. This individualism helped to shape the style known as bebop, characterized either by extreme virtuosity (Bud Powell, Charlie Parker) or unique character traits (Monk takes the cake).
I composed “Lluvia en Málaga” on March 9th, 2011 when I happened to be in Málaga, Spain. It was raining that day.
“Life So Far” has some twists and turns—just like real life! It starts out as a rather uptempo swing number, with standard jazz harmony and form. But then it goes to new, unexpected places, and includes some free form improvisation. Perhaps there is some underlying organic unity (to this piece)? (to my life?) My life has been good so far (and I trust it will continue to be good), though I can’t say that I could have predicted much of it—who knew I’d marry a girl from the Canary Islands? that I’d learn Spanish? that we’d have fraternal twin daughters? that one of my best friends would turn out to be a piano professor at Mesa State? etc. etc.
Thomas Taylor wrote “Nine Years Later” on September 11, 2010, nine years after the most terrifying day the US has had in the 21st century. The piece is appropriately somber and reflective.
“Just One of Those Things” is one of Cole Porter’s most popular songs. Though written in 1935, it enjoyed huge popularity in the 1950s from Doris Day’s version and has been recorded by hundreds of vocalists, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, and, more recently, Diana Krall.
John Salmon Trio Bio
John Salmon, piano
Thomas Taylor, drums
Steve Haines, bass
The John Salmon Trio is a jazz group consisting of John Salmon (piano), Steve Haines (bass), and Thomas Taylor (drums), all of whom are faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music. The group has thrilled audiences in the US, China, and eastern Europe. John Salmon is a renowned classical and jazz pianist, who has performed on four continents and whose recordings are broadcast regularly throughout the US and in 17 countries. He is particularly noted for his association with Dave Brubeck, who dedicated two pieces to him. The John Salmon Trio performs jazz standards such as Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things” and originals such as Salmon’s Latin number “Mambo Madness.”
“John Salmon’s arrangement of As Time Goes By by Herman Hupfeld was a hit with the larger-than-normal audience…quite a hot session. Each player had his chance to shine, cadenza-like, and the ensemble improvisation was on a high level.”
Classical Voice of North Carolina
“John Salmon’s jazz ensemble was loved by the audience for its versions of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five and Henry Mancini’s Moon River. I loved the ebullient energy and superprofessionalism of this group.”
Jurnal de Chisinau
“John Salmon’s jazz group entertained the large crowd with interpretive cohesion, offering both original compositions and mainstream standards.”
"Upon beginning his jazz improvisations, the pianist confessed that his problem was not knowing when to quit. According to the response from the audience, he could have continued until the early morning hours."
(San José, Costa Rica)
“The John Salmon group played two swinging sets. Led by Salmon’s glissando-strewn piano runs and anchored by Taylor and Haines’s witty, lyrical conversations, the combo ran through a diverse mix of genres—Cole Porter, “Moon River,” bossa nova from Antonio Carlos Jobim, a gospel rave-up, a solo piano fusion of two Dave Brubeck pieces. Salmon is a Brubeck devotee, so it’s no surprise that the band was rhythmically very tight, or that they delighted in odd time signatures. The musicians silently joked around onstage, and were animated in the way that only old friends can be around each other.”
(Jackson, Mississippi, USA)
“Today we watched the JOHN SALMON jazz group at our music school [Shenyang Conservatory]. It was absolutely amazing! This is the best concert I have had during my four years of college. I am so glad that our music school could invite a first-class performance group like them. For each individual musician, there is no doubt of their technique. On the other hand, they are so well coordinated. But after all, the thing most worth learning is that they are thoroughly immersed in their music, full of freedom, relaxation, as if they were having fun all the time.”
"Salmon's rapport with the piano is formidable...brilliant performance."
Indianapolis Arts Insight
(Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
"What mastery and virtuosity this pianist possesses."
"Acquaintance With a Piano Sovereign ”
"A remarkable personality, an extraordinary talent, and a sum of qualities which inspires admiration of which only true musicians are worthy."
Commercio do Porto
"A tremendous pianist”
"Brilliant Performance by Salmon”