The Alex Levin Trio | Night and Distance

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Jazz: Bebop Pop: Delicate Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Night and Distance

by The Alex Levin Trio

A dazzling debut. Jazz for rainy days or cozy, romantic nights. Alex Levin, one of New York City's rising jazz stars, plays sultry ballads, bossas, and swinging standards in a timeless trio, creating a soulful, relaxing mood.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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1. If I Should Lose You Alex Levin Trio
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5:09 $0.95
2. Bossa A Alex Levin Trio
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5:44 $0.95
3. Far From the Home I Love Alex Levin Trio
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7:09 $0.95
4. Autumn in New York Alex Levin Trio
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5:25 $0.95
5. But Not for Me Alex Levin Trio
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6:22 $0.95
6. Night and Distance Alex Levin Trio
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4:19 $0.95
7. New World Alex Levin Trio
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7:08 $0.95
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Hi! If you want to hear more Alex Levin Trio music, please check out my latest release, "A Reason for Being Alone," now available at CDBaby.com!

Thanks,
Alex and the Trio


The audience at the jazz club listened intently to the trio's final song and applauded long and loud. From behind the piano, Alex announces the band names and future gigs. "My album is coming out this month!" he exclaims.

"I wanted to make an album that people would listen to and enjoy throughout the day-at dinner, while relaxing or reading, or when they were cooking." This is what Alex Levin, a New York City jazz pianist, told me when I spoke with him in New York City's East Village about his new album, Night and Distance. He certainly succeeded with his debut, a sparkling album of standards and originals. The songs all convey a sense of longing, be it for home, love, or even 'Autumn in New York.' Alex plays every other Saturday at Detour, a small jazz club in the heart of the East Village. His fans return week after week to check out the music.

"I'm very happy with the way the CD turned out," he told me, sitting across from me at a table in the back corner. "It all works together to create a single, aesthetically complete experience." The CD was recorded in Brooklyn and features some of NYC's most in-demand players, including the drummers Taylor Davis and Ismail Lawal, and bassists Diallo House and Yoshi Wakti.

The recording kicks off with a jaunty version of "If I Should Lose You," immediately introducing the theme of loss to the listener's imagination. The tune features burning solos by Alex and Yoshi, and a longer drum solo by Taylor over hypnotic chords. With the second tune, Alex's original "Bossa A," the same trio finds a deep groove and sticks with it. "That is one of my favorite compositions of the thirty or so I composed last year," confirmed Alex. "I was so lucky to have a chance to play it with such a great rhythm section!"

"Far From the Home I Love" from Fiddler on the Roof seems an odd choice for a jazz CD, until you hear the arrangement by Alex, featuring Diallo and Ismail. "I wanted to do something like Coltrane's 'Wise One,' and incorporate a rubato section as well as a more burning, bluesy passage," Alex explained. "It's my version of homage," he said.

"I've always loved New York City in the fall!" he continues, referring to his solo piano version of "Autumn in New York." "I heard a Brubeck version of this tune when I was twelve years old in Philadelphia, and I'll never shake the mood of that recording." Alex took full advantage of the Steinway Concert Grand at Systems Two Studios on this track, finding deep resonance in the bass notes. He even surprises with a stride piano passage as well as a musical allusion to Radiohead. "I hope to record a full album of solo pieces someday. It presents the pianist with so many possibilities!" said Alex.

"'But Not for Me' is one of those songs that I love to play. The lyrics are so beautiful and the melody is so pure," he told me. After Alex plays the little-known introduction to the popular standard, the trio kicks in at a swinging, comfortable tempo. "Ahmad Jamal's rhythm section played so perfectly with him. I was hoping to capture a similar magic on this track," he said. It serves as a nice intro to the second original track on the CD, Night and Distance.

"One night I was up at three in the morning, and my wife was traveling abroad and I wrote this tune. It isn't too much of a sad song...more hopeful, really," Alex remembers. This is one of the CD's most personal tracks, and it wears its pop influence on its sleeve. As Alex plays in a popular New York pop band, Cicada Songs, it is no wonder that he would bring something a bit more contemporary to his recording.

His composition segues nicely into the final track, Bjork's beautiful composition "New World" from the film Dancer in the Dark. "I love the way the melody shifts from such hopefulness to such a soulful sadness," Alex remarks. "And Ismail's drum solo is such a great ending to the album." I love the way the track fades out in its final moments. I ask Alex how that came about. He explained: "Rich Lamb, who recorded the trio, had this great idea of walking away from the sound at the end of the CD. At first I had no idea what he was talking about, but when he played me the track in its final form, I thought, 'That's it. That's what I want.'"

New York has more than a few great players. Alex is a pianist with a personal style and sound that invites the listener into his world. Jazz can seem so modern and harried, so it's especially satisfying to hear a young player who reaches out to his audience and offers them his art. Enjoy his CD and catch him in New York at Detour when you have a chance!


--T. L. Beddoes, New York, 2005

You can find out more about Alex at www.alexlevinjazz.com

Detour Jazz Club info can be found at www.jazzatdetour.com


Reviews


to write a review

Christina A. havemeyer

This CD rocks in a jazzy way
there aren't enough stars in the sky to rate this
peaceful jazz compilation by new york's alexander levin.
it is exactly what beddo's said about it (see his review)
and more.
i listened to it while i was pushing paper and
making a million phone calls at work and all i can say
is that it kept my mood light. his rendition of bjork's,
"new world" is unique and beautiful. alex levin is a
real player in ny's jazz scene.

Heather and Juerg

Smooth Jazz for great moments
Congratulation Alex!!! The CD is great! Great songs, smooth Jazz as good as it can be. The perfect CD for all good moments. We are looking forward to the next CD which is hopefully coming soon.

Elizabeth Fleming

Amazing and beautiful
This CD is fantastic. The Bjork cover is brilliant and Levin's original compositions are great. Highly recommended.

Dixie Normous

Perfect for slippers and a glass of wine by the fireplace.
For a good time, make it Night and Distance time.

Alison McCook

Beautiful melodies. A great recording, even for non-jazz aficionados.
I don't know much about jazz, but this has quickly become one of my favorite CDs. The music is so beautiful, it makes any situation more pleasant. I highly recommend Far From the Home I Love -- the best version of the song I have ever heard.

Carole Hayes

The Alex Levin Trio is a winner
The Alex Levin Trio is a winner with this compilation of old favourites and Alex's own compositions. I particularly like FAR FROM THE HOME I LOVE which loses none of the flavour of the original Broadway version in spite of it being arranged for the trio. Alex Levin, good value.

Kyle Walton -- Washington, DC

This disc sets the perfect tone for entertaining or chilling
Whether I'm entertaining or just chilling, Night and Distance sets the perfect tone. This disc is on frequent rotation at my house. I've listened to it so many times over the past year that I've memorized every nuance. This one's a treasure.

Beth Mann Thrush TV

Quintessential NY Jazz
This classy recording reminds me of why I moved to NY. Its essence is true NY jazz - sophisticated, inviting and crisp. Its smart and mature and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at a dinner party.

Gail Gomila

Love it!
Listening to the Alex Levin Trio's Night and Distance makes you smile. This CD is perfect for careful concentration on each note or casual listening. You don't have to be a fan of jazz to enjoy this mellow music. My guests have loved it when I played it. I've given it as gifts and highly recommend it. Try it! You'll like it!