Some people are referred to as natural musicians, but one could say that Randy Waldman possesses an even stronger bond with music. Randy began playing piano at age five, and as a youth, spent every available minute in front of the keyboard. He perfected his art early. His first professional job came at the age of 12, demonstrating pianos at a music store in his home town of Chicago.
At age 21, Randy was hired to tour as pianist for the legendary Frank Sinatra. Thereafter, he toured as the accompanist for the pop group The Lettermen, which brought Randy out to the West Coast. After settling in Los Angeles, Randy resumed his role as pianist with Sinatra on West Coast concerts, as well as beginning a busy touring career with recording artists such as Minnie Riperton, Lou Rawls, Paul Anka and George Benson.
Randy’s work with Benson blossomed into a full-time job as his pianist and music director. However, after touring and working with Benson for six years, Randy decided it was time to stop globe-trotting and devoted himself to full-time session work in Los Angeles. With performances on film soundtracks including Forrest Gump, Roger Rabbit, The Bodyguard and Back to the Future, and record sessions with such artists as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Bette Midler and Celine Dion, it is clear that Randy was at the forefront of his profession. Additionally, he has worked as producer and arranger for artists Pattie Labelle, Bobby Caldwell, Nancy Wilson, Mary Wilson, Kenny G, Katey Sagal, The Jets and The Stylistics.
His first album, “Wigged Out”, which was released 1998, came about only after being asked by his peers, “Why haven’t you done your own record?” While this album grouped Randy with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist John Patitucci and features such prominent guest artists as Michael Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Bob Berg and Freddy Hubbard, as a first album, the concept is cleverly anomalistic in that all of the songs performed are jazz arrangements of famous classical compositions.
Randy’s follow-up album, “Unreel”, released under his own name in 2001, features the same trio along with premiere soloists such as Gary Burton, Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Tom Scott, Ernie Watts, Michael Sembello, Lou Soloff, Bob McChesney and more. “Unreel”, in sync with Randy’s earlier concept, are jazz arrangements of movie and television themes.
This recording, “Timing is Everything”, although consisting of what many would consider jazz “standards”, instead showcases that Randy is not content with doing anything in a “standard” way. Randy’s display of amazing piano technique and unique harmonic invention sets this collection of standards apart from others. The creative and quirky twists and turns of these bold musical arrangements are a perfect framework to feature the dazzling drum work of Colaiuta and the virtuosity of bassist Bromberg.
Of note is the additional track Cantor de Noite, included only in this U.S. re-release. This beautiful Brazilian song displays a hypnotic melody flowing over unexpected key modulations.
This album’s high quality of recording crisply captures Randy’s well-honed piano touch, the echoes of Bromberg’s bass, and the vivid nuances when each wire of Colaiuta’s brushes contact the drumheads. As such, this is an album that can be enjoyed by music fans, musicians, and audio fanatics alike.
Randy Waldman - Piano, Brian Bromberg - Bass, Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums
Produced by Brian Bromberg for B2 Productions *
Co-Produced by Randy Waldman
Executive Producer: Susumu Morikawa for King Record Co., Ltd.*
Songs arranged by Randy Waldman
Recorded July 21-23, 2003 at Castle Oaks Recording Studio, Calabasas California
Record by Tom McCauley
Mixed by Tom McCauley with Brian Bromberg at B2 Studios, Valley Village, California*
Assistant engineer at Castle Oaks Studio: Hatch Inagaki and Frank Jones
Brian Bromberg appears courtesy of the A440 Music Group
Cover & Back Artwork: Michael LeFevre
Back photo: Juan Aguirre
Liner note excerpts: Akira Sakamoto
Proof reader: Angela Anderson
Remastered by: Chris Papastephanou
*Bonus track “Cantor de Noite”
Produced by Randy Waldman
Recorded by Tom McCauely and Randy Waldman
Mixed by Randy Waldman