David Shenton | Sunnyside Blues

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United States - NY - New York City

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Blues: Piano Blues Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Sunnyside Blues

by David Shenton

Solo pianist David Shenton's musical adventure of Sunnyside, Queens, portrayed as a fusion of Jazz and Blues, influenced by great classical and jazz pianists and composers such as Rachmaninov and Oscar Peterson.
Genre: Blues: Piano Blues
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Sunnyside Blues
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2:41 $0.99
2. 48th Avenue Blues
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2:10 $0.99
3. Greenpoint Jig
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2:28 $0.99
4. Habanera 46
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5:22 $0.99
5. Feelin' Blue on the Q32
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4:02 $0.99
6. The Song of Skillman Avenue
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4:03 $0.99
7. The Ballad of Bliss Street
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5:34 $0.99
8. Bix's Blues
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3:31 $0.99
9. Lowery Street Lullaby
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5:14 $0.99
10. Take the 7 Train
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2:23 $0.99
11. Rawson Street Rag
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3:32 $0.99
12. Route 60
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3:00 $0.99
13. Waltz for Erin
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4:07 $0.99
14. Zip Code Blues
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3:11 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Sunnyside is a small melting pot of a neighborhood in the western portion of the New York City borough of Queens, where I now live and of which I have grown increasingly fond. I moved here in February 2003 and immediately felt at home. The idea of Sunnyside Blues came to me one day as I was wandering down Skillman Avenue humming a tune that I thought went well with the surroundings. Since my principal language is music, I thought that I would try to express my feelings about the neighborhood through that language and invite you along for a stroll around Sunnyside. So, stepping out of my apartment building, I am immediately immersed in Sunnyside and hope you will come along with me on this musical journey.


UK born violinist, pianist, composer and arranger DAVID ALEXANDER SHENTON is one of the most versatile and in demand musicians in the world today. He is the composer of 5 musicals (Tart, Barsong, Creole Nights, Anna the Storyteller and Avarice), all of which have premièred in New York. He is also the composer of more than 120 original works including everything from short piano pieces to full scale orchestral works. (David composed his first piece, Grande Valse for piano, at age 9 and his first symphony at age 12). Equally at home on the violin or the piano, David performed his first violin concerto (Bach E major) with orchestra at age 14 and his first piano concerto (Chopin F minor) at age 15. From 1993 to 1997 David studied at the Royal College of Music in London from where he graduated with the highest of honours.

David has worked as an orchestrator/arranger for Abbey Road & CTS Studios (London), Hollywood movies, West End, Broadway & Off-Broadway shows and for British TV celebrity Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. David was personal assistant to Oscar-nominated composer Howard Blake OBE for 7 years and has also assisted conductor/MGM orchestrator John Wilson. David’s arrangements can be heard onboard the QE2 and QM2 cruise ships and his jazz arrangements can be heard all over the USA. In 2004 David wrote his first short film score, Beauty, written by Hollywood screenwriter Franc. Reyes (Empire, The Ministers). Beauty was screened at the Miami Short Film Festival (Florida), NALIP Festival (New York) and the Westwood International Film Festival (Los Angeles) to great critical acclaim.

David taught himself jazz piano in 1998 after hearing Oscar Peterson playing on the radio. His love of jazz is equal to that of his love of classical music. David’s proficiency of jazz was fully recognized on 2nd December 2006 when he was asked to open for singing legend Tony Bennett at the St. George Theatre, New York. In April 2007 David was awarded the prestigious Back Stage Bistro Award for best piano player/entertainer in New York. David performed over 200 times in 2006 in both the USA and Europe, more than 150 of which were jazz performances. In 2007 David is currently booked for over 200 performances.

David resides in Sunnyside, NY with his wife, Erin, and their cat, Nika. David is in constant demand as a performer, orchestrator, arranger, songwriter and accompanist.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Wow!!!!
I have a little story about “Sunnyside Blues” that will give you an idea of how awed I am by this CD and David Shenton’s playing. I always listen to CDs a minimum of five times before writing a review, and I usually listen to them first in my wake-up CD player. When I awaken to solo piano CDs, I often drift back to sleep and dream about teaching piano lessons. That's what happened with this CD, and in my dream, the pianist was a twelve-year-old boy. His parents wanted me to become his piano teacher, and I was in an absolute panic after hearing this “kid” play!!! "What am I going to teach him????" "He’s a genius - I'm in over my head!" When I woke up and realized I had been listening to David Shenton, I had to lay there and laugh! I’ve known David Shenton for about a year as an excellent sheet music transcriber, but had never heard him play and didn’t know anything about him or his background. When this CD arrived, I started digging around on the internet and am absolutely amazed at what a consummate artist he is. (We are working on an interview, so be on the lookout for that - it is bound to be extraordinary!) Classically-trained from an early age in both piano and violin, Shenton graduated with high honors from the Royal College of Music in London. He taught himself to play jazz in the mid-90’s and came to the US in 2002, settling in New York. Since then, he has been awarded the title of “The Best Piano Player in New York City” - a very heady but well-earned title. Incredibly versatile, this guy can do anything at the piano.

“Sunnyside Blues” was conceived as musical tour of the western portion of Queens in New York City, where Shenton lives. The title track begins the tour with an easy pace and some really tasty piano blues. Check out the speed and clarity of those runs! Yikes - the boy can PLAY!! All of the tracks on this CD are incredibly good, but I’ll mention a few favorites. “Habanera 46” is dark, sensuous, and elegant. Reflective of the rhythm of the train pulling into the station on 46th street as well as the Hispanic influence on that area, this piece is much more classical than jazz, and what a beauty it is! My favorite track is “Feelin’ Blue on the Q32,” a piece originally written for a short film (“Beauty,” starring Joseph Melendez), adapted and extended for this album. Passionate and eloquent, this piece is absolutely haunting (we need sheet music for this one, David!!!). “The Song of Skillman Avenue” takes us to another side of Shenton’s playing - soft, gentle, and very dreamy. “The Ballad of Bliss Street” continues in this vein of quiet calm, although it intensifies a bit as it builds, again demonstrating stop-in-your-tracks playing chops that are so effortless. “Take the 7 Train” is a fascinating rhythmic study. Written in 7/8 time, it actually feels like a train hurtling down the tracks. In my sleepy first hearing of “The Rawson Street Rag,” I thought Shenton was playing a Scott Joplin rag. Instead, he has captured the joy and spirit of Joplin’s music in his own composition - great fun! “Zip Code Blues” returns us to a slinky blues piece based on the chord progressions of Shenton’s zip code!

What an incredible album to start the year with! Give your ears a treat and listen to someone who really understands the piano and all the different moods it can evoke. “Sunnyside Blues” is nothing short of brilliant, and I give it my highest recommendation! WOW!

jazz4ever

Impressive playing!
Very good playing - technically accurate and clean playing. The CD flows well and is quite eclectic. The track about the Q32 is hauntingly beautiful and very deep. Makes very good background music, especially for a dinner party!

Musical Maven

Utterly brilliant! Creativity at its very, very best.
This CD represents a combination of classically influenced jazz and blues music. The opening motif (Sunnyside Blues theme) can be heard throughout using a Lisztian thematic transformation (meaning it runs through the CD but is often disguised). This gives the CD a sense of continuity and structure, often missing in many of todays recordings. Shenton's classical training is evident (especially in tracks #4, #5 and #7) and is displayed with a flawless technique. Shenton sometimes sounds like Oscar Peterson - true, but the technique is often more accurate, more classical. This isn't to say his jazz chops are not up to par - they certainly are! A wonderfully creative CD!!!

I bought this CD at a record store in New York, but I would recommend buying it here as I paid much more for it in the city.

JazzGal

Wonderful, ecclectic mix of great original music!
I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Shenton play a few of the songs from this CD live, and the music was so powerful and moving, I had to buy the CD. The music is an intelligent fusion of styles that everyone from the music aficionato to the average listener can enjoy.

Angie

GREAT CD!
I bought this CD from a local coffee shop on a whim, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I did. Really impressive playing, kind of a fusion of jazz/blues/classical. I play it as background music when I host dinner parties as well as listen to it on my ipod, usually to de-stress after a long day at work.