Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions--a thousand questions, a thousand answers all hidden mysteriously in the music of their new album, At Night the Roses Tango. It's an album of stunning beauty that reveals new answers and profound questions with each listening. An album that, like the rose, lives for beauty alone.
A new band, an astonishing collaboration of artists: Paul Reisler founder of both Trapezoid and Kid Pan Alley, Howard Levy of the Flecktones, Ysaye Barnwell from Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Angela Kaset, SESAC Songwriter of the Year. They are joined by master drummers Kenny Malone and John Gardner (Dixie Chicks), bass virtuoso Viktor Krauss (Lyle Lovett), Fred Bogert (Trout Fishing in America) and vocalist Amy Speace.
When it comes to the music, there is no question. It's music made for the sheer joy of making great music--an album of twelve original songs and two instrumentals written by Reisler along with some of his favorite co-writers. It's a direct and emotional music that cuts across borders-combining American roots, world music eclecticism, classical precision and mysticism with the vitality and energy of contemporary pop music. Music that the Washington Post says "climbs up the Blue Ridge and down to the bayou and back up the Himalaya's."
The All Music Guide calls Reisler's songs, "Pure poetry." For his lyrics stand-alone like the best of poetry. Intertwined with his music, they go to a very deep place, where thoughts are felt and not merely thought.
There's If I Were Free, a richly lyrical love song about living the artistic life that he wrote with Angela Kaset. His I Want to Know, written with Steve Seskin touchingly chronicles a personal story of adoption and reunion. Afraid to Fly, co- written with Grammy winner Wendy Waldman in memory of his long-time Trapezoid collaborator, Freyda Epstein. And there are his songs without words, his evocative instrumentals, White Edge of Winter, At Night the Roses Tango, and a solo hammered dulcimer piece, Elegy: The Dry Leaves of Autumn. Please listen to the music samples and you'll hear what makes this album so special.
Paul Reisler is the founder and leader of Trapezoid as well as the founder and Artistic Director of Kid Pan Alley. He's written thousands of songs and instrumentals and has performed throughout the world over the last 30 years. He made 10 albums with Trapezoid, a duo instrumental album with Bobby Read of the Bruce Hornsby Band, and has appeared on another 3-dozen albums with artists including John McCutcheon, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Holly Near. "World class musicianship," said Performing Songwriter Magazine. Stereo Review said his music is, "Reason to believe there is still real music on this continent."
He's just completing work on his Aesop's Fables for Orchestra and Narrator with a libretto by Tom Paxton that will be premiered by several orchestras in early 2006.
He's one of the most popular songwriting teachers in the country for both adults and children. Through his Kid Pan Alley project he has written close to 500 songs with over 10,000 children in classrooms throughout the county. Some of those projects resulted in CD's of the songs including a recent one in Nashville in partnership with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra that featured Amy Grant, Delbert McClinton, Kix Brooks, Raul Malo, Suzy Bogguss and others singing the songs written with the children. Kid Pan Alley inspires children to be creators and communities to join together to celebrate the creativity of their children. http://www.KidPanAlley.org.
Howard Levy is a musician without limits. His musical adventures include journeys into jazz, pop, rock, world music, Latin, classical, folk, blues, country, theater, and film. He has appeared on hundred of CD's, won a Grammy (1997), won a Joseph Jefferson Award (1986) for Best Original Music for a Play, and has performed many times on American and European television and radio.
Universally acknowledged as the world's most advanced diatonic harmonica player, he is also an accomplished pianist and composer, and plays many other instruments as well, including flute, ocarina, mandolin, saxophone, and percussion.
Howard was a founding member of the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. He has toured and/or recorded with Kenny Loggins, Trio Globo, Dolly Parton, Styx, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon, John Prine, Paquito D'Rivera, Ken Nordine, Trapezoid and many others.
The London Observer says "...Howard Levy is a revelation; there are times when it is hard to believe he is playing only a harmonica, for he has the expressive range and depth of a saxophonist."
Since signing her first songwriting contract at age twenty, Angela Kaset has had songs recorded by many established artists including Lorrie Morgan, Suzie Bogguss, Linda Davis, Aaron Tippin, Stephanie Bentley, Patti Page and many others. The song that really brought Angela to national attention was the beautiful single, Something In Red, recorded by Lorrie Morgan. Angela received the prestigious award as SESAC's Country Songwriter of the year in 1997.
Angela's experiences as a performer are equally impressive touring throughout the US and Great Britian as a solo artist. She's performed live on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and major television shows. According to the LA Times, her solo albums, "..present sophisticated songs that venture far beyond the boundaries. Kaset wraps her own warm evocative voice around an impressive collection of material."
Her soulful delivery, accompanied by her own unique piano stylings, can be partially attributed to her early days, singing in church. Weaving an intricate web of ballads and bittersweet story songs, Angela always gives a unique and spellbinding performance.
Ysaye M. Barnwell has performed with the internationally acclaimed a capella quintet, Sweet Honey In The Rock since 1979. She appears as a vocalist and/ or instrumentalist on more than twenty recordings with Sweet Honey In The Rock, as well as other artists. She's a remarkable singer with a range of over 3 octaves. Ysaye spends much of her time off stage educating the world as a master teacher and clinician in cultural performance theory and voice production. Her workshop, Singing In The African American Tradition, has been conducted all over the United States, Great Britain and Australia, making her work in the field a real source of inspiration for her performances on stage.
She has received numerous commissions to write music for dance, choral, film and video projects with Sesame Street, Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh, Reality Dance Company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Women's Philharmonic of San Francisco, and Redwood Cultural Work In 1996 she was awarded The Bessie Award for her score Safe House: Still Looking.
She is also an actress whose credits include roles in television series A Man Called Hawk and in the film Beloved, directed by Jonathan Demme.
Amy Speace is a singer/songwriter and actress from New York City. She's currently at work on her 2nd album. A natural performer, Amy grew up playing piano and clarinet, studying voice and eventually ended up in Manhattan acting in films and television and writing and directing in Off Off Broadway productions. Amy tours the country performing both solo and in a duo with Paul Reisler.