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Contemporary Piano Ensemble


In 1990, Adam Williams and three fellow pianists (Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller, and Geoff Keezer) paid tribute to Phineas Newborn on the CD which they documented two trio numbers apiece, and also a version of “It Don’t Mean something,” where in fact the 4 players took turns using one piano. On the 1991 Montreal Jazz Celebration, exactly the same pianists performed jointly, this time around on four pianos. By adding Donald Dark brown as their 5th pianist (although they continuing taking changes on four pianos, with one participant sitting down out), bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Tony Reedus, the Modern Piano Ensemble was created. They documented a collection for DIW/Columbia in 1993 and the next year performed concerts in 20 towns. Although always a part-time endeavor, the group also made an appearance in the Monterey Jazz Event and toured in 1996 for two weeks, showing that it’s possible to generate swinging, coherent, and remarkably uncrowded music with four pianos.

Quick Facts

Full Name Contemporary Piano Ensemble
Music Songs Theme for my father, Will-power, Newborn Spirit, One's own room, While My Lady Sleeps, Fond Times with Junior, Pass Me Not, Don't you know I care / Come Sunday, Bewitched / Autumn in New York, Just squeeze me, Sweet and Lovely, Salt Peanuts, It Don't Mean a Thing, P.N.J., Valerie, Moonlight in Vermont, Moanin', Hibiscus, Back Home, Up there
Albums The Key Players, Four Pianos for Phineas

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