We are told that Debussy, when asked which harmonic system he followed to create his compositions, replied, "my own pleasure". The pieces herein are based on free motivic variation.
While some of the techniques used - inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion, are associated with serial or dodecaphonic music, these pieces are definitely not serial in a strict sense. Nor are they atonal ortonal. I have looked for a language which grows from freedom of expression rather than adherence toany one set of rules or parameters. There are rhythmic echoes of jazz and blues in some of these pieces, as well as colors of 20th century contemporary / classical music (what is contemporary? in which year? to whom?).
Tempo, dynamics, and articulation have largely been left open to interpretation by the player(s). I hope you enjoy these musical games or journeys - may they take your music intosome new places.
I have found great pleasure exploring these melodic shapes in the form of studies. The great range of expression that they demand from the player - dynamics, timbre, articulation, phrasing, and ornamentation, helps develop musical creativity along with instrumental mastery. Like Bachīs Suites and Partitas, Telemannīs Fantasies, or the inspired improvisations of Steve Lacy, they will give wings to the apprentice improviser who makes them part of his or her repertoire and daily routine of study. The freedom that these pieces awake can reveal to each musician a path towards creating original melodies.
Jeff Gardner was born in New York. He studied jazz with Jaki Byard, Charles Banacos, Don friedman, and John Lewis, classical piano with Ruth Schontal and Ivan Tcherepnin, andharmony with Nadia Boulanger. He has performed with such musicians as Kenny Wheeler, Narma Winstone, Eddie Harris, Steve Lacy, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Sheppard, Paulo Moura, Dori Caymmi, Nelson Veras, Toninho Horta, and the Piano Quartet with Martial Solal, Jaki Byard, and Paul Bley.
His recordings include Spirit Call (solo), Continuum, with Eddie Gomez and Billy Hart, Alchemy, with Gary Peacock, Second Home, with Rick Margitza, Sky Dance (recorded in Rio de Janeiro) with Gilberto Gil, and Noches Habaneras, recorded in Havana, Cuba, with Anga, Maraca, Julio Barreto, Diego Valdes, and Felipe Cabrera. Jeffīs CD, The Music of Chance features Rick Margitza and Ingrid Jensen. Other recent brazilian recordings include Street Angels and Abracos, with Carlos Balla and Alberto Continentina. His newtrio releases, Breath and Lovelight (Terramar Records), feature Drew Gress and Anthony Pinciotti. He recently wrote and performed his first piano concerto, Voltas, mixing Brazilian rhythms with jazz and contemporary music, in Sao Paulo.
Active in jazz education, Jeff has given workshops in man different countries and is the author of Jazz Piano : Creative concepts and techniques, Sentimento Brasileiro, Easy Jazz Preludes, and Jeff Gardnerīs Blues Book all published by Editions H. Lemoine, 24 Jazz Preludes (Terramar Music), and co-author with Niels Lan Doky of Jazz Transcription (Advance Music).