|The Inventions Trio
Photos by Judy Kirtley
A brand new group: two classically-trained jazz masters of the piano and trumpet have joined with a marvelously gifted and classically-trained cellist to explore the intersection of chamber music and jazz, to ďfind the chamber music in jazz and the jazz in chamber music,Ē performing fresh interpretations of well-known classical themes, jazz classics, and original works.
WHO IS IT?
Pianist Bill Mays, trumpeter/flugelhornist Marvin Stamm, and cellist Alisa Horn.
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
The Inventions Trio grew out of Mays and Stammís long association and duo work together, followed by a commission of Maysí three-movement Fantasy for Cello, Trumpet & Piano. Another inspiration was Maysí duo work with flutist Bud Shank in 1980 that resulted in the Concord Records LP, Explorations, which featured Maysí Suite for Flute and Piano and improvisations on classical themes. In the 1990s Mays mixed musical genres again by orchestrating The Nutcracker Suite for Jazz City Records. Written for four woodwinds and rhythm section, the CD featured movements from the Nutcracker and other well-known themes by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel and Rachmaninoff. In recent years, Mays teamed with members of the Finisterra and the Philadelphia Piano Quartets to play his jazz versions of Arensky, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Rodrigo, and Vivaldi. In Maysí words: ďwhether playing Borodin or Bird, Bach or bop, the aim is to make the music come alive in a new way, find great melodies, be true to the composerís underlying harmonic scheme, let the music swing, listen intently, play honestly, always honoring the rich traditions from which weíre drawing and building upon.Ē
WHERE HAS IT PERFORMED?
NEW YORK, NY: Bargemusic, The Kitano, Rubin Museum of Art, Bosendorfer Pianos, Austrian Cultural Forum. CALIFORNIA: Stanford University, Yoshi's, San Francisco, UC Fresno, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Jose State University, University of LaVerne, Point Loma Nazarene University. Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA; Chicago Institute of Music; Philadelphia Art Museum; C.O.T.A. Festival, Delaware Water Gap, PA; Seasons Festival, Yakima, WA; Academy of Spherical Arts, Toronto, ON; WVIA-TV, Pittston, PA; Taft School, Watertown, CT; Buckman Fine Arts Center, Memphis, TN; State College Jazz Festival, PA; Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; Aeolian Hall, London, ON; University of New Hampshire; Germantown, TN Symphony Orchestra.
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WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Bachianas Brasilieras #5 Mvt. I (H. Villa Lobos)
Charlotte Delights (M. Stamm)
Sippin' At Bells/Dance Of The Infidels (M. Davis/B. Powell)
Zingaro (A. C. Jobim)
--from "Delaware River Suite" (B. Mays):
Shohola Hoedown & Campfire
Rollin' Down the Water Gap
The artistry of Bill Mays is beyond category. With deep roots in jazz, gospel, pop and classical music Billís eclectic career as a pianist, composer and arranger spans more than five decades. On hundreds of recordings, Billís concert and recording credits include work with artists as diverse as Ron Carter, Al Cohn, Buddy DeFranco, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard, Al Jarreau, Barry Manilow, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Frank Sinatra, Sonny Stitt, Toots Thielemans, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, Phil Woods and Frank Zappa.
Billís keyboard work has been heard on numerous movie soundtracks and TV shows, among them Adaptation, Annie, Being John Malkovich, CBS Early Morning, Consenting Adults, Dallas, Fargo, Frida, Fur, Gremlins, Interview With The Vampire, Julie & Julia, Knotís Landing, Kojak, Ladykillers, Late Night with Jay Leno, Mission To Mars, Name That Tune, Rocky, Shaft 2, Simone, Sleepless In Seattle, Doubt, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, Superman, Where The Wild Things Are, The Alamo and Wolf.
Much respected for his compositional and arranging talents Bill has written saxophone quartets, suites for flute and piano, double bass and piano, music for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Aureole chamber ensemble, the Woody Herman Band and incidental music for TV and film (Anamorph, Burn After Reading, Hamlet, Looker, Tribeca). He is a recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, the N.E.A., Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, is a Grammy nominee, a Steinway Piano Artist and a PennPat roster artist. His recent work on Palmetto Records documents his long-standing piano/bass/drums trio with Martin Wind and Matt Wilson (Out In Pa., Summer Sketches, Going Home, Live At Jazz Standard). The Inventions Trio's first CD, Fantasy, showcases Bill's three-movement Fantasy for Cello, Trumpet and Piano and features the members of the trio in brilliant individual and group improvisations on classical themes.The trio's latest recording, Delaware River Suite, feature Bill's multi-movement tribute to the Delaware River and environs.
Marvin Stamm is a graduate of the well-known North Texas Lab Band program. Upon completing his degree, he went on the road for several years, serving as trumpet soloist for the Stan Kenton and Woody Herman Orchestras. Marvin moved to New York City in 1966 where he spent twenty-three years as a major New York City studio musician. During this time, Marvin was a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Duke Pearson Big Band, and the American Jazz Orchestra led by pianist and composer John Lewis. He also performed for a period with singer Frank Sinatra and with the Benny Goodman Septet. He also appears as soloist with symphony orchestras and performs as a member of the George Gruntz Concert Jazz band and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Marvin has also been involved in Jazz education for many years and spends a good deal of time working with young musicians. Current CDs: By Ourselves - Marvin Stamm/Bill Mays Duo; The Stamm/Soph Project;The Stamm/Soph Project - Live at Birdland and the quartet's DVD/CD Alone Together.
Alisa Horn is native of Memphis, Tennessee, where she studied with Professor Peter Spurbeck at the University of Memphis. She received her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Michigan in 2004, studying with Professor Anthony Elliott and completed her Master of Music in Cello Performance at Northwestern University in 2006 with Professor Hans Jorgen Jensen. Alisa was the Second Prize Winner in the 2006 WAMSO-Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Associationís Young Artist Competition and won the University of Michigan Concerto Competition performing Ernest Blochís "Schelomo." She was a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 2004-2005 and was appointed the principal cellist of the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra during the summer of 2006. Alisa has given numerous solo and chamber music performances throughout the country and recently performed Miaskovskyís Cello Concerto with the Oakville Chamber Orchestra of Ontario,
Canada. Alisa and pianist Jue He recorded the Rachmaninoff and Miaskovsky Sonatas for Cello and Piano, and were also featured on McGraw-Hillís Young Artist Showcase, WQXR-FM, in New York City. Alisa is currently living and working as a free-lance artist in New York City and has performed in the Broadway musicals "Spring Awakening" and "Next To Normal."
websites (marvin stamm) (alisa horn)