There are two main inspirational elements at the heart of Cliff Kormanʼs
creative process: gesture and improvisation. Each materializes in his musical
language through visual and conceptual suggestions as he strategizes
to find the meeting point of narrative and abstraction.
Kormanʼs latest work for piano solo plays on a wide range
of possible ambiguities and crossovers among the written, the oral, and
the improvised, stretching the very meaning of these realms. In this
cycle, based on original sketches and studies and the confluence of thought and action in the moment, he explores
open pathways with an intimate touch, still maintaining scattered traces of the distinct way in which he has always referenced the masters of the pan-American piano tradition.
Through his exploration of the piano traditions of the Americas, he has
not only embraced the cross-fertilization among genres and repertoires,
but has come to discover the piano as a new instrument. In mastering
rhythm and unfolding a maze of melodic suggestions, he works with
sound like a diamond carver, constantly marveling at the intimate dependence
of clarity and hybridity.
Born and trained in New York, Cliff Kormanʼs journey began over thirty years ago at the Creative Music
Studio's World Music Institute in Woodstock, when he met the legendary Brazilian clarinetist
Paulo Moura. From their friendship and musical partnership a series of
concerts and recordings was born: Mood Ingênuo: The Dream of Pixinguinha
and Duke Ellington, Rhapsody in Bossa, on the music of Gershwin
and Jobim, Gafiera Jazz, a revealing commentary on the history of
Brazilian ballroom, and the Gnattali/Monk Project, exploring two of the
most influential American pianists of the century.
Since establishing his spiritual and physical home in Brasil Cliff
Korman has become one of the most respected North American musicians
in the country. Cliff obtained his doctorate at the Manhattan School of Music, where as Coordinator of Brazilian Studies he developed and taught a course in Brazilian Popular Music History and led the Brazilian Jazz Ensemble. He is currently on faculty at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, where he is assisting in the implementation of a course in Popular Music Studies, and under the auspices of the Instituto Paulo Moura is music coordinator of the project to digitalize Paulo Moura’s archive.
Myers Recording Studio (Tracks 1, 2, 3. 8)
Manhattan School of Music
Engineer: Richard Kim
Date: May 2007
Drum Studios (Tracks 4-7, 9-12)
Rio de Janeiro
Engineer: Alexandre Hang
Date: March 2006
Steve Berson-Total Sonic Media June 2009
Nick Prout-True Sonix, Inc. Dec. 2007 (preliminary mastering tracks 1, 2, 3. 8)
Produced by Cliff Korman
All pieces by Cliff Korman, in the moment...