Hell's Kitchen Productions - Peter Gilmore 2006
Retrospective Review of Mark Birnbaum cd"s
Jelly Roll Morton's Missing New Orleans
Dr. Mark Birnbaum has wowed audiences in many venues, including his long stint as resident keyboard player for the Joe Franklin Show. He is equally at home in ragtime, jazz, and classical pieces and his own evocative compositions span these genres as well. Now you can savor his mastery in these three CDs.
Jelly Roll Morton’s Missing New Orleans is a summoning of the past magical atmosphere of that now devastated city of darkness, finishing with Birnbaum’s own “Dark Star.”
Ab Ovo gets off to a rousing start with the live recording of Birnbaum’s improvisation on Dr. LaVey’s “The Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse” from that memorial concert, and includes mostly works by Birnbaum—blues pieces and classical as well, including “Lucifer Rising.”
Hot Piano! is 77 minutes of joy, with works by Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Ellington, Scriabin, Debussy, and Birnbaum, among others.
Together these three make a perfect anthology capturing the breadth of Dr. Birnbaum’s artistry. Sound quality does vary between pieces, as some are studio recordings and others were captured live in concert.
Red Hot Piano and Vocals in the Classic New Orleans, Ragtime, Blues and Jazz Style.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Mark Birnbaum (b. 1952) is an American musician.
A classically-trained composer and pianist, and a television personality, Birnbaum earned a Doctorate in Music from Columbia University in 1982. In 1983, he composed and directed the successful off-Broadway show, "A Day Together", which was funded by the Helena Rubenstein Foundation and travelled throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Encouraged by Andy Warhol, Steve Allen, and a chance encounter with Richard Nixon, he moved to playing ragtime, blues, and jazz, successfully appearing in Birdland, The Angry Squire, and other nightclubs in the New York City metropolitan area. From 1990 to 1993 he appeared nightly (dressed in flashy clothing) as staff pianist on the Joe Franklin television show (WWOR-TV).
At Edith O'Hara's 13th Street Theatre, Birnbaum has had successful one-man shows -'Ragtime 94', 'Ragtime 96' and most recently 'Hot Piano! Ragtime, Blues & Jazz'.
Nicknamed "Mr Ragtime" by Captain Lou Albano, Birnbaum continues to record and perform Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, 1920s music and originals .
In 2005, Birnbaum was awarded an honorary degree from the Neupauer Conservatory (the Order of the Shield) by Dr William Schimmel for his work with the accordion.
As a tribute to the birthplace of Jazz, in 2006 he released "Jelly Roll Morton's Missing New Orleans" (piano & vocals).