Friday, September 20, 2013

Jim Beard-Show Of Hands (Sunnyside 2013)

Grammy award winning pianist/composer Jim Beard is set to release his next album, Show of Hands. Since his arrival on the New York music scene in the late 1980s, Beard has accumulated a staggering array of credits: from composing for John McLaughlin and Michael Brecker to producing Grammy nominated recordings for Mike Stern, Bill Evans and others. He has performed on world tours with Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny and Steely Dan, and also recorded television scores with artists as disparate as Dizzy Gillespie and John Mayer.

Beard’s latest effort is something most followers would consider unique for him: a solo piano recording. The talented pianist is widely known for his work in the studio and on stage with ensembles of great variety, from small ensembles to orchestras and from acoustic settings to electric.  Beard is also known for entering “dangerous yet rewarding territories” musically (as per Pat Metheny) on his previous solo outings.

Why a solo piano CD? Beard says: “This was the next thing for me to do that would feel a little bold and risky, yet gratifying. Plus, there have been countless fans and artists who have been pestering me for years to do this.”