Alan Simon

Alan Simon, a pianist and composer, is well-known in jazz as a “musician’s musician”. He is a talented and inventive player who has mastered both traditional and modern jazz idioms. His years with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra were when Alan Simon attracted national attention. The band recorded extensively and toured extensively, eventually appearing at all major jazz festivals across Europe, South America and the United States. Hampton also hosted Alan’s concert at Carnegie Hall. Hampton’s quartet was supported by a symphony orchestra. The critics often praised Alan during his time with Hamp. A typical Jazz Journal International review, which covered an appearance at the Grande Parade du Jazz, Nice, France, stated that “Hamp’s pianist played beautiful, swinging, and at times quite majestic piano, and seemed quite unaffected by the varied stylistic requirements of Hamp’s repertoire.” According to The Omaha World Herald: “Hampton gave the spotlight over to pianist Alan Simon who proved that he’s more than a sideman.” Simon performed one of the most complex and dazzling solos of the evening. Alan has shared the stage alongside Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Tate and other jazz greats. He has also supported Slide Hampton, Frank Foster and Slam Stewart as well as Anita O’Day and Panama Francis. Rainsplash, his first album under his own name, was a Cadence Jazz Records release. It received rave reviews. “Simon’s a great and consummate pianist man,” stated the Chicago Observer. “… a hard-bop-loving, no-nonsense date where all parties are at their swingin’ best. Stanley Dance, Jazztimes’s editor, wrote that “His solos swing relatively loosely…a professionally dressed date by men who are sure to get more.” Coda magazine says, “This fine band creates intelligent and inventive, lyrical musical music.” The Present, a collection that includes original compositions and contributions from band members, and timeless jazz standards, are his other albums. Without A Song was recorded live at Music Mountain, Falls Village, Connecticut. Claiborne Ray, New York Times journalist, writes that Alan “shows his Tyneresque capability to play percussively while not bashing the melody.” The American Embassy sponsored a tour that took the Alan Simon trio to Chile in the mid-1980s. They performed in workshops all over Chile and were featured on a TV documentary about Chilean jazz. Alan was a New York City native who studied jazz and classical piano as a teenager. The City University of New York awarded him a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. Alan lives in Berkshires with his wife, Pamela, who is also his business partner. He continues to write, perform, teach and record. He is an associate faculty member at the Hotchkiss School of Lakeville, Connecticut. The New York Foundation for the Arts has awarded Alan a 1995-1996 Individual Artists Fellowship Grant for music composition. Listen to this jazz pianist, whose playing The New York Times described as “clean and energetic and fraught with periodic surprises… Mr. Simon keeps it all together, weaving soloing with sensitivity. from

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