“Standing Alone”

“Standing Alone” – Ted Piltzecker (Equilibrium)

1. My Romance
2. My One And Only Love
3. In Your Own Sweet Way
4. In A Sentimental Mood
5. Trieste
6. God Bless The Child
7. Body And Soul
8. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
9. Blue In Green
10. Invitation
11. Like Someone In Love
12. Naima
13. La Malanga

alone

“…superb taste, time, sensitivity and swing – all of it evident in this thoroughly enjoyable collection of thirteen tracks” – ALL MUSIC GUIDE
‘Standing Alone’ is both sparse and fruitful, and Piltzecker has an innate sense to celebrate either virtue.”- WBGO

Reviews:
ALL MUSIC GUIDE 
Review by Judith Schlesinger

Any solo CD requires great talent and imagination to be interesting all the way through. With vibes, such lone expeditions are rare and can be risky, with things turning monotonous and muddy in the wrong hands. Fortunately, Ted Piltzecker has the right ones, as well as superb taste, time, sensitivity and swing – all of it evident in this thoroughly enjoyable collection of thirteen tracks, mostly jazz classics done at ballad tempo. A master player with pyrotechnics in reserve, {Piltzecker} is also a composer, professor, and clinician who tours with the George Shearing Quintet and has released three albums as a leader. Here, he uses a cool palette of violets, blues and greens – with occasional flashes of red – to create music is both soothing and intriguing. The CD works beautifully as a solo journey because it avoids too much abstraction, delivers one heartfelt, definitive chorus of each tune, and provides continuous variety and contrast in dynamics and material. Given Piltzecker’s judicious use of the pedal, the tracks are clean and clutter-free; highlighting the beauty and versatility of the instrument, they add a lovely shimmer to old favorites. With this treatment, the more haunting melodies, like Invitation, Coltrane’s Naima, and Jobim’s Trieste become positively magical. On La Malanga, the joyful little closer, Piltzecker accompanies himself on the djimbe, a West African drum: a fitting ending to an adventurous journey that is also touching and elegant.
RATED: excellent & AMG pick


 

JAZZ CONNECTIONS

Review by Irene Wadkins

Vibist, Ted Piltzecker’s new solo CD “Standing Alone” on Equilibrium is a collection of the finest standards of all time by composers Duke Ellington, Johnny Green, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and played by vibes virtuoso Ted Piltzecker. This 13 track CD features Ted and vibes, a lot of talent and technique and pulls off a very daunting task, playing solo and interpreting the songs that were written to stay. If you’re a fan of classic standards like; My One and Only Love, God Bless The Child, Invitation, then let Piltzecker take you down memory lane because he gets it just right. You can sing, hum, or just sit and listen but what you hear is someone very dedicated to his music and does it with integrity proving jazz doesn’t always have to be layers of sound tracks. It can be just what you want it to be. Bravo! Irene Wadkins/jazz journalist


 ALL ABOUT JAZZ

Review by Mark Corroto

Like solo piano sessions, solo vibraphone recordings are extremely personal, solitary events. They tend to relate to their listeners on an individual basis. Vibes-man Ted Piltzecker a member of George Shearing’s quintet releases this solo session as a follow up to his 1996 excellent quintet date Unicycle Man with Bob Mintzer, James Williams and Harvie Swartz. By choosing mostly jazz standards, Piltzecker begins halfway inside the listeners comfort zone. He takes you the rest of the way by his quiet elegance. Standing Alone reminds one of the late John Lewis’ final Evolution recordings. Piltzecker doesn’t thrill you with pyrotechnics; he relies on a well-placed note. Covering John Coltrane’s Naima, Rodgers and Hart’s My Romance, and Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood&Mac226; appeals to Piltzecker’s modest approach to jazz’s passionate history. He fills the 43-minutes with expressive grace, maintaining interest throughout. He can sound like he’s ringing leaded crystal In Your Own Sweet Way&Mac226; or he can reproduce the feel of a piano. Piltzecker applies both a single and a four-mallet approach with a fluid delivery and an insider’s hipness. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: My Romance; My One And Only Love; In Your Own Sweet Way; In A Sentimental Mood; Trieste; God Bless The Child; Body And Soul; Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans; Blue In Green; Invitation; Like Someone In Love; Naima; La Malange.
Personnel: Ted Piltzecker, Vibraphone, Djimbe.

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POST GAZETTE.COM – A&E
Review by Bob Protzman

This solo CD by vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker has been around for awhile, but it is so special that it’s very much worth calling jazz fans’ attention to it. For one thing, how often does one hear an entire album of solo vibes? Without doing in-depth research, one would guess never, or at least rarely. Piltzecker, leader of his own ensemble as well as a member of the current quintet led by the legendary pianist George Shearing (you can hear him on “The Rare Delight of You,” the quintet’s current CD featuring vocalist John Pizzarelli on Telarc), is a truly masterful player. An experienced educator as well, he certainly knows the ins and outs of his instrument, getting the most out of it by using all its capabilities in a personal, creative way. His technique and imagination are such that he deftly avoids what in someone else’s hands could have become a tiresome sameness. Instead, each piece, beautifully played, stands alone. He takes full advantage of his instrument’s lovely bell and chime-like tones, although he prefers to limit his use of another of the vibraharp’s distinctive characteristics — tremolo, or the echoey notes that the great Milt Jackson used so frequently and effectively. Piltzecker concentrates on strong melodic development and ornamentation on a nicely chosen repertoire of classic popular music songs, as well as well-known jazz pieces: “My Romance,” “Invitation,” “My One and Only Love,” “Body and Soul,” “God Bless the Child,” Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green” and John Coltrane’s “Naima.” The music is played so consistently well that listeners’ favorite tracks probably will depend upon their favorite songs on this must-CD for anyone who loves the vibe of vibes.

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NEW SOUNDS.NET

Review by Tom ‘Tearaway’ Schulte

Master vibraphone artist Ted Piltzecker recorded this solo CD away from his normal ensemble, the George Shearing Quintet. While he is himself a composer, Ted chose for this album to instead apply his performing talents to the work of other composers, for instance Duke Ellington (“In a Sentimental Mood”), Dave Brubeck (“In Our Own Sweet Way”), and Jobim (“Trieste”). Piltzecker’s solo vibes arrangements are very full; there is not a lot of playing with space here. However, in the absence of a rhythm section, the music is still very light and airy, it is very spacious “below.” Standing Alone is an exquisite collection of standards he knows well in sophisticated and delicate form delivered from four mallets applied to the vibraphone and nothing else. (Excepting, that is, “La Malanga” where he accompanies himself on the djimbe.)

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MUSE
Review by Rick Anderson

Vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker is most often seen onstage as a member of the George Shearing Quintet or at the head of his own Ted Piltzecker Group. But on this unusual program he delivers a set of jazz standards played entirely solo (though he does accompany himself on djimbe for his rendition of “La Malanga”). For the most part, the tunes are predictable fare by the likes of Rodgers and Hart (“My Romance”), Duke Ellington (“In a Sentimental Mood”), Miles Davis (“Blue in Green”), and John Coltrane (“Naima”). But as one might expect, Piltzecker’s approach to this standard repertoire is unusual, and not only because a solo vibes setting for these tunes is rare; because it is played with several mallets held between the knuckles, the instrument lends itself to dramatic leaps of register and widely spaced chord voicings, but its natural mellowness of tone tends to minimize the aural shock of gestures that might sound harsh or awkward on a piano. So while Piltzecker’s renditions of familiar melodies like “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” and “My Romance” involve all kinds of virtuostic leaps and twists, the result is a simultaneously technically impressive and deeply relaxing listening experience. Any library supporting a jazz curriculum, especially one offering courses in the mallet keyboards, should consider purchasing this album.

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Jazz 88fm Music Director WBGO – Jazz 88 Musings
Review by Kevin O’Connor

Vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker is not exactly a household name among either his fellow vibe-players or jazz folks in general, which comes as a surprise, given the ease with which his last name flows from the lips of radio announcers and lay-people alike! Actually his absence of true notoriety is probably due more to his fierce independence than his talent and originality as a vibe-stylist, two areas in which he excels. For Piltzecker’s first outing: “Unicycle Man,” he worked in traditional jazz-combo settings, but nevertheless distinguished himself as an energetic player and interpreter. With his latest, “Standing Alone,” Equilibrium, Piltzecker braves the territory of unaccompanied solo performance, seldom attempted anywhere outside classical music. “Standing Alone” is both sparse and fruitful, and Piltzecker has an innate sense to celebrate either virtue. There are thirteen standards on this release, all vibraphone solo’s. Best of all: He didn’t have to pay any sideman.

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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION

Review by John Henry

And Piltzecker certainly is standing alone. This solo album takes more guts than, say, a solo piano or organ album. He keeps all four mallets flying in an often multiple-voiced style that quickly makes you forget anything at all is missing. The session is all standards that Piltzecker has played in a variety of contexts, mostly with other performers. Fans of the vibes will have good vibes about this one! Tracks: My Romance, My One and Only Love, In You Own Sweet Way, In a Sentimental Mood, Trieste, God Bless the Child, Body and Soul, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, Blue in Green, Invitation, Like Someone in Love, Naima, La Malanga.