Piano Improvisation Series
Michael Robinson / Eliot Zigmund
Azure Miles Records Piano Improvisation Series
Cover art is handmade paper from India
platforms below use track title A Foggy Day only
available on myriad additional platforms
"Robinson and Zigmund demonstrate impeccable synergy on the eight resulting albums"
"this uniformly superlative series" (All About Jazz)
1. A Foggy Day 43:44 (George and Ira Gershwin)
Michael Robinson - piano
Eliot Zigmund - drums
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Rick Savage
All songs used with licensing permission from the publishers
Driving to Jersey along the Harlem River, like in a dream, going to record with my favorite drummer from all the Bill Evans Trio albums, Eliot Zigmund. Once there, I was a bit nervous playing a piano new to me. After all, I've only been playing piano seriously for a few years. Fortunately, I adapted, Eliot and I blessed with the participation of engineer Rick Savage.
Our original plan was to record on consecutive afternoons, but things were going like a charm, and so we were able to add a third day. Much later on, after I had returned to Los Angeles, it came to me the storied history of jazz recording in New Jersey. It was a bit surreal one day listening to Eliot playing with Bill Evans, and then the next day listening to Eliot again, but this time I was improvising with him at the piano.
From the sessions eight albums were generated, and these notes will serve for all eight, not that each one isn't deserving of individual notes, but there's only so much time.
A Lark Somewhere has Every Time We Say Goodbye, It's Easy To Remember and All of Me
What Magic has Watch What happens and Watusi Drums
Runs To Sea has If I Had You and Willow Weep For Me
Earth and Sky has Bernie's Tune and Have You Met Miss Jones?
Each Caress has Only the Lonely and Deep In A Dream
A Dream or Two has Lullaby of the Leaves
I Wouldn't Mind At All has But Beautiful
Decidedly Blue has A Foggy Day
All the standards we recorded were selected by myself spontaneously in the moment without any predetermination. That's what my jazz teacher, Lee Konitz, and my raga teacher, Pandit Jasraj, taught me.
The order above is the exact order the standards were recorded in, the first two albums recorded the first day, the next three recorded the second day, and the last three recorded the third day.
On the very first track we recorded, Every Time We Say Goodbye, I confess to thinking about an adorable black kitty left behind in LA. It was only supposed to be a warm-up rehearsal, you can hear me asking if we're recording shortly into the piece, and we did miss the opening moments, but the great body of it is there thank god.
Lullaby of the Leaves I was lucky to hear a fine version of it seconds before leaving a shop on Beverly Boulevard, completely captivating, Ella Fitzgerald. Curious to learn where she was from, sure enough she was born in the South, where the lyrics begin.
I might write much more here, but there's new music to learn, and new music to make.
An essay written last month includes several paragraphs focusing on these eight albums.
- Michael Robinson, December 2022, Los Angeles
© 2022 Michael Robinson All rights reserved