Brilliant! – Hal Schaefer


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”Schaeffer has always run in lofty circles but has never had that bit of daylight that would allow the jazz piano man to be mentioned in the same breath as Dave McKenna or Hank Jones. Props to Michael Feinstein for taking the time to lobby for Schaeffer getting Jazz Master recognition two years back. This solo piano set celebrates that event. While he deserves recognition for more than being the last man standing at 85 years old, this is a grand set of whorehouse/saloon solo piano on the classic tunes of that era and vibe. Playing with the dexterity and snap of a young lion on the prowl, if you miss McKenna or Jones or simply want to hear jazz piano played right and righteously, this is a must to check out. The cat still has it all on the ball.”

Schaefer’s legendary career has spanned 70 years and 18 albums to date in addition to his Hollywood and Broadway music created for stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Mitzi Gaynor, Susan Hayward, Betty Grable and Judy Garland. Hal was a longtime protégé of jazz legend Duke Ellington, who routinely introduced his young performer with the words, “Now you’re going to hear a real piano player!” In October 2009, Hal Schaefer was nominated for the nation’s most prestigious jazz award, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship. His nomination in was submitted by singing great Michael Feinstein, who noted: ‘Mr. Schaefer now is 84-years-old and still performing faster and better than most young jazz piano phenoms.’

”Hal Schaefer is one of the best solo jazz piano players alive today.” -Dr. Herb Wong, Eminent Jazz Authority 2009

”. . . an uncanny knack for zeroing in on the mood of a song that quickly moves beyond the melody into the spirit it suggests to him.” -JazzTimes

”. . . a romantic with a rhythmic soul.” -John S. Wilson, New York Times


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