NEWSFLASH!---/1/2007---This recording just won a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for 'Best Traditional Jazz Album of 2006' !!! Canadian born, Manhattan-based pianist/composer Jon Ballantyne's early interest in the studying and performing of music ultimately led to his collaborations musically (onstage and/or recording) with musicians such as Joe Henderson, Paul Bley, Dewey Redman, Billy Hart, Roy Haynes, Drew Gress, Dave Liebman, Gene Jackson and Phil Dwyer. Over the past several years, he's jammed at jazz festivals or private sessions with players like Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Bill Carrothers, Seamus Blake and Donny McAslin. In his formative years, Jon played gigs with Pepper Adams, Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, Terry Clarke, Neil Swainson and Jerry Fuller. And before that, Jon studied, and in many cases, played, with greats like Cecil Taylor, Ed Blackwell, Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, Karl Berger, Elvin Jones, Barry Harris, Joanne Brackeen, Emily Remler and Lee Konitz, to name a few. Over the years, Jon's music has been described by writers and critics as: highly original, lyrical, far-out, earthy, abstract, bebop-based, free, swinging, encyclopedic, deep, individualistic, and other adjectives not always synonymous with one another. An example of his musically diverse career is from an approximately two year period in the early 1990's when Jon performed in completely spontaneous piano duo recordings and concerts with fellow pianist and Canadian Paul Bley, and was also found to be blowing out the doors of more than a few jazz clubs playing raucously swinging, modern jazz with the late, great American saxophonist Joe Henderson. Whether he's performing his original compositions (which can be knotty and dense, or sometimes quiet, spacey and melodic), two-handed virtuosic atonal improvisations, or reworking the standard jazz repertoire, Jon's openness, originality and inborn creativity always inform his playing, much to the delight of his audiences.
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