Laura Klein & Ted Wolff
Laura Klein/Ted Wolff Duo
"Received this excellent CD, and it is a winner!
Laura and Ted are maybe not all that well known yet, but are exceptional musicians. This is top class jazz!"-Peter Kuller, Radio Adelaide-Australia
Laura Klein and Ted Wolff met at Boston's Berklee College of Music, relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area several years later, and have been playing together ever since. Initially inspired by the Gary Burton/Chick Corea collaborations, they have developed an exciting, lyrical and highly interactive style of their own. Their repertoire ranges from bebop and jazz standards to the contemporary music of Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, and Steve Swallow, as well as original compositions.
Laura Klein - Piano
Laura grew up in New York City, where she studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music as a child. After getting her BA in Music from SUNY Buffalo, she took classes and taught jazz piano at Berklee College of Music. Since the mid-80's Laura has lived in the Bay Area. She has recorded her own compositions with the jazz sextet Triceratops, whose CD got nationwide airplay and enthusiastic reviews. She was the pianist and contributed arrangements on vocalist Jenny Ferris' CD "Day In, Day Out", which featured the music of Johnny Mercer. She has done all sorts of freelance playing, ranging from solo, trio and small jazz groups, on up to the Rudy Salvini Big Band, and John Dankworth and the San Francisco Symphony. Appearances include Yoshi's, Pearl's, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Anna's Jazz Island, KCSM's Jazz on the Hill and the Cotati Jazz Festival. She currently co-leads and composes for the jazz quintet FivePlay.
Laura has developed impressive skill as both a performer and composer. Her many recorded compositions span a wide range of styles and instrumentation. Always an inventive accompanist and soloist, she brings energy, creativity, and outstanding technical prowess to every musical project. Laura keeps a busy schedule of concerts, gigs, and recording sessions.
Ted Wolff - Vibraphone
Ted, a vibraphonist of warmth and eloquence, is a Bay Area native. He began his music studies at age 16, and within six months was studying jazz with noted vibist John Rae. Encouraged by Rae, Ted attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied and performed with Gary Burton, Dave Samuels, Bill Frisell, Joe Hunt, Mike Stern, and Tiger Okoshi.
Within three years Ted was invited to join the faculty at Berklee. During his 8 year stay Ted provided guidance and direction to many students. John Piper, an active and successful vibes player recalls studying with Ted and has this to say: "While I was struggling to develop a style for my solo playing, I kept hearing Ted's fat, wonderfully warm vibe sound in my head, and I tried to copy that. He really made an impression on those of us who were fortunate to be around him."
In 1985 Ted returned to Northern California. In 2000 he released a solo CD entitled "Felicity" which features jazz and classical music performed on vibes and marimba. Today Ted performs locally in small groups and as a soloist; always delighting audiences with his lyrical style and impressive technique.
Artist’s notes by Laura Klein
I’ve been enchanted with the sound of piano and vibes together ever since hearing the first notes of Gary Burton and Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence” album a long time ago. So, when Ted and I started playing duo, it was a dream fulfilled. Over the years, our collaboration has been an exhilarating one, giving us both the chance to grow musically in different ways than playing with a rhythm section affords.
“Voyage” is a spirited Kenny Barron tune that Ted brought in one day, that we’ve had lots of fun playing.
I titled “In A Grain of Sand” after William Blakes’s poem “Auguries of Innocence”: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand, and a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour”.
In the classical tradition, an impromptu is a piece composed in an improvised style for a solo instrument, but this Impromp-2 is a duet that I wrote for us.
Secrets and Lies is a Benny Golson -like tune written by Ted that showcases his bluesy side.
Steve Swallow’s Peau Douce, a perennial favorite of Ted’s and mine, is a lovely jazz waltz with an unusual, seamless form, that I start off with rubato solo piano.
My arrangement of It Could Happen to You presented us with a real challenge-unlike the original, it rapidly goes through four keys!
Cerulean Blue is a different take on the blues, with some Monk-like harmonies.
Cole Porter’s classic “I Concentrate on You” becomes a relaxed samba here.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Wayne Shorter’s tribute to the Burmese fighter for democracy, is a striking composition-beautiful in its simplicity and use of space.
Ted starts J.J. Johnson’s poignant ballad, “Lament” with a gorgeous solo vibes intro, and it takes off from there.
Finally, the CD finishes on a happy note with Pat Metheny’s catchy “The Chief”- listen for the surprise ending!