CHRIS ZIEMBA

Post Bop • United States
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The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, pianist, composer, and arranger Christopher Ziemba is receiving widespread critical acclaim. After years of classical instruction in his hometown outside Buffalo, New York, Chris realized his love for jazz music in high school, taking weekly trips to Rochester to learn from pianist Paul Hofmann. Chris began studies under the tutelage of Harold Danko at the Eastman School of Music, from which he earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Jazz Studies and Music Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. During his time here, he performed frequently with members of the faculty, including Bob Sneider, Clay Jenkins, Walt Weiskopf, Jeff Campbell and Rich Thompson. In 2009, Chris debuted as a guest artist on Marian McPartland’s famed radio broadcast, Piano Jazz. He also participated in two professional training workshops presented in conjunction with the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall: the 2008 read more...
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CHRIS ZIEMBA Manhattan Lullaby album cover 3.95 | 2 ratings
Manhattan Lullaby
Post Bop 2016

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CHRIS ZIEMBA Manhattan Lullaby

Album · 2016 · Post Bop
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Carmel
The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, pianist and composer Chris Ziemba is becoming an active presence on the New York City jazz scene. He made his debut in the national jazz spotlight in March 2009 as a guest artist on Marian McPartland’s famed NPR radio broadcast, “Piano Jazz.” Since moving to NYC in 2011, he has been involved in a wide range of musical projects. He has performed and recorded with some of the leading voices on today’s jazz scene, including: Ted Nash, Ron Blake, Marcus Printup, Hans Glawischnig, and Ryan Truesdell’s Grammy-winning Gil Evans Project. Ziemba also leads his own trio and quartet to lend a voice to his own compositions.

The release of Manhattan Lullaby signifies a strong calling card for Ziemba, able to display sensitivity and harmonic depth and call upon ample dexterity when needed; Ziemba offers the listener a full-diapason listen. Opening the disc is a swinging original “Josie” this has all the making of monk-ish lines and driving be-bop rhythm to satisfy any bop aficionado. The decidedly modern “The Road Less Traveled” is harmonically rich and utilizes a flowing melody. Ziemba interacts with the ensemble in a strong conversational manner, each player has their distinctive role in creating the overall sound, and Ziemba’s solo cascades with notes that push and pull, all the while Glawischnig (bass), and Macbride (drums) create rhythmic complexities to elevate the tracks sound. This track was a highlight for me.

Another compelling cut is Ziemba’s original “Escher’s Loop,” the tune has a dark sound that stays with you long after the track is complete, the ensemble really shines on this cut in its interactive abilities. It is clearly evident each player takes great pride in listening and reacting. Ziemba creates a poignant piano interlude towards the end of the tune, before the entire ensemble joins in for a spacious improvisational ending.

Ziemba spins ample command and confident extensions of his creative ideas. His technical prowess is evident from the onset, and joined by an equally fearless ensemble, Manhattan Lullaby is beautifully reflective, not only of the beauty of New York’s Manhattan, but an enduring recording of a very special moment in time captured and documented for many years of enjoyment to come. In 2011 Ziemba was already an accomplished force to be reckoned with, now if 2016 – his maturity, and prescript is stunning. Highly recommended!

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