The "Henry Thoreau of Jazz" Jazziz Magazine
Keyboard innovator Kit Walker thrives on new musical horizons. Although he was in his early years classically trained as a pianist, pipe organist, and composer, Kit wasn't content to stop there. His musical and spiritual explorations have taken him through a universe of styles and sounds, and he spent many years working with and developing his own personal slant on each of them. His groundbreaking albums for Windham Hill Jazz, "Dancing on the Edge of the World", and "Fire in the Lake", released in the late 80's, helped to broaden the spectrum of contemporary jazz. Both albums received international critical acclaim, high rotation airplay, and made the top 10 of Billboard's contemporary jazz charts. Many people attest to the fact that these albums still sound as fresh as if released today.
Kit also spent many years developing his mastery of the improvisational jazz vocabulary, and then, while weaving that in with his understanding of classical and contemporary music, and his love of world music from all directions on the globe, he forged a sound uniquely and unmistakably his. A veteran master of electronic instruments and recording technologies, he is also equally at home on acoustic piano, and Hammond B3 organ.
His lifelong spiritual quest has served to imbue his music with a transcendental quality that serves to further dissolve boundaries between genre and musical idiom. As well as his appearances on his own Windham Hill Jazz recordings, and his self-released world/jazz recording, "Freehouse", he has toured with, and collaborated in productions with numerous luminaries in the jazz, world, and sacred music fields, including sacred world music pioneer Jai Uttal, jazz/rock drum virtuoso Steve Smith, the popular devotional singer Deva Premal, and Brazilian jazz percussion legend Airto Moreira, and his vocalist wife, Flora Purim, to name but a few.
Kit has also been blurring the boundaries of contemplative music and modern classical harmonic structures, and mixing those with world music and experimental electronic music, to further push the envelope of sacred music. His forthcoming album, "Sky Blue Door", is his first release in that direction, and contains music composed specifically for the 8 hour mystery play, "The Mummery", written by the contemporary American spiritual master Adi Da Samraj. This music delves into the depths of contemplative experience, and is a journey into and beyond love and death.
As well, in 2008 Kit composed the soundtrack for "Presque Isle" a symbolically charged new film by the seminal underground film director, Rob Nilsson, which expanded Kit's musical palette even further into the uncharted waters of the human psyche. Kit's musical mission has always been to access and magnify the healing dimensions of music, no matter what the context he finds himself in at any given time.
Watch for another new release of Kit's signature world-jazz, coming in 2009, in which he explores even further the cross-fertilization of improvised world jazz and contemporary compositional style.
An in-depth listen to Kit's musical offering will reveal a multi-faceted approach rarely found in the musical landscape of today. This is what prompted Jazziz magazine to call him, in a tip of the hat to the great American iconoclast and writer, the "Henry Thoreau of Jazz".