DON ALBERTS-BIO Don Alberts is more than a pianist, more a piano stylist in the finest and most classical tradition of Jazz. His style is reminiscent of the dignity and panache of Duke Ellington and the eloquence of Bill Evans, yet clearly contemporary, and clearly his own. Friends: Don has shared the bandstand with some great musicians including Leroy Vinnegar, Chet Baker, Shorty Rogers and Bud Shank, recordings with renowned bassist David Friesen, and a period as house pianist at the famous Bop City in San Francisco.
Study: A native of the San Francisco area, he attended San Jose City College as music major and studied with Thomas Ryan at San Jose State. Don has appeared in many jazz venues and major festivals throughout the Northwest and Canada including the Mount Hood Festival of Jazz in Portland, Oregon.
Influences: Don grew up in the Bay Area and learned his skills playing the San Francisco clubs in the 60's which exposed him to the challenging music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bud Powell, much of which became part of his foundation, a style rooted deeply in bebop and the blues. The romantic side of his playing comes from the influence of pianist Bill Evans. Beginning piano at the age of ten, his earliest influence was the Boogie Woogie style of Mary Lou Williams-followed later by Teddy Wilson, Earl Hines, Errol Garner, George Shearing, Nat Cole, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Hampton Hawes, Red Garland, Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Clark, and Mulgrew Miller.
Early recordings: One of Don’s early compositions, The Lizard, appears on the CD album Home Coming with Tom Harrell, released in 1999 by bassist Gordon Stevens and published on Life Force Records. A second CD album on Chill House Music was released in March of 2002 entitled, Local Hero, a trio format with bassist David Friesen and drummer Alan Jones which includes material from an earlier session. This package includes some fine solo piano work and the re-introduction of three originals- Local Hero, Sarah's Theme, and Until I Met You.
New Release: (2003) The CD Intuition, the Don Alberts Trio, is a landmark achievement capturing the original work of the band as developed at the Cypress Club in San Francisco with Bassist Frank Passantino and drummer Buddy Barnhill. All compositions are by Don Alberts except his one homage to Bill Evans, the tune, One For Helen. The CD Intuition is available at cdbaby.com More info at www.donalberts.com
New Release: (2005) Rejuvenation, produced by Don Mar Productions was released in August, 2005. This CD features five new compositions by Don Alberts plus two standards, Autumn Leaves and Nardis with Don Russo on bass and Diego Erencon on drums, recorded in February, 2005 at Tone Palace Studios in Taos, New Mexico. CDs available at www.cdbaby.com More information at www.simsroadmusic.com
New Release: (2006) Avende Miles, a work of fresh originals in a quartet setting with saxophonist Scott Barnhill and the existing trio-Frank Passantino and Buddy Barnhill in a strait ahead jazz approach to these new compositions. CDs available at cdbaby.com More information at www.donalberts.com
New Release: (2007) Bad Boys, Russo Alberts Trio with Art Lewis, produced by Sims Road Music, includes 9 Alberts originals: Definition, Rise, One Fine Thing, Made, Bad Boys, Coy Madden, God Fire Mantra, Dare Devils, Steps, and Duke's Choice by Charles Mingus. Don Alberts-piano, Don Russo-bass, Art Lewis-drums. www.cdbaby.com and www.simsroadmusic.com
Don Alberts has received the prestigious 2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011 ASCAP Jazz Composers Awards for his Volumes of Original Jazz Compositions the latest being Volume 11. The books-Don Alberts-Original Jazz Compositions are published by Chill House Music. Volumes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 are available at www.lulu.com/donalberts
Don Alberts has established himself as an author with a number of books to his credit. Recent publications in 2010 include-"the Rushing, Manbaby and the Crooked Road to the Big Time" is a novel of fiction about a Jazz Musician's life-and "A Diary of the Underdogs" a book on Jazz History in San Francisco in the 1960's with 31 interviews of local musicians.
Don is constantly writing new material most of which becomes part of the format of his current trio. Although he has written extensively for larger ensembles, his recent concentration is the small group where flexible improvisation and interplay is the key.
Don has also taught jazz composition at the Jazz School in Berkeley and is planning a Composition Master Class for summer 2012 and a Piano Class in bebop essentials-
New Release. The release of his new trio CD "Three Chord Molly" from Fantasy Studios with Don Russo bass and Art Lewis drums is now available at cdbaby.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent CD release party for "Three Chord Molly" at Yoshi's, San Francisco was a great success