Rick Germanson (p), Brian Lynch (tp), John Webber (b), George Fludas (d), Luis Diaz (perc)
Pianist Rick Germanson has been in demand as a sideman in NYC for a few years now. Here he makes his exciting debut recording as a leader with his Quintet including trumpeter Brian Lynch. Armed with five originals and three unique renditions of popular jazz standards; Germanson 's quintet combines elements of modern swing and latin rhythms eschewed in the tradition, but in a forward looking direction.
1. Game Theory (R.Germanson)
2. Tune-up (Miles Davis)
3. Heighs (R.Germanson)
4. Lover (Rodgers/Hart)
5. Susan's Waltz (R.Germanson)
6. Smokehouse Blues (R.Germanson)
7. April Mambo (R.Germanson)
8. Pannonica (Thelonius Monk)
Recorded in 2001.
"If the past is prologue, then the future is unlimited for Rick Germanson. After planting solid classical roots and wood-shedding in strictly jazz literature, the Milwaukee native made all the right moves, switching from the Big Cheese to the Big Apple. That was six years ago, during which he played and recorded with all the right people. Now, at 30, his chops are ready for his CD debut as a leader: Heights (Fresh Sound New Talent).
He's blessed by tons of technique, taste and a clarity of right-hand runs, an appreciation for complex rhythms and a love for Latin. (Check all those blessings out on "Tune Up".) He can handle supersonic speeds ("Lover"); write a love poem in 3/4, with "Susan's Waltz"; cleverly disguise "I'll Remember April" as "April Mambo"; and show writing chops as well as montuno moments during his "Game Theory" with the help of very supportive friends: trumpeter Brian Lynch, bassist John Webber, drummer George Fludas and percussionist Luis Diaz."
- JazzTimes February 2004
"...Germanson has matured into a musician who favors melody as the string holding together all of the tune on "Heights" (FSNT 155). Without ostentation and with clearly conceived logic throughout the tracks, Germanson makes clear to his listeners the narratives of his music. Indeed, one of Germanson's trademarks seems to be his transitioning between tempos to add interest to his arrangements. "Heights" introduces a jazz pianist who has paid his dues backing up a long list of jazz artists. Germanson has grown into an artist who is as comfortable accompanying a lead musician as he is performing his own music with clarity and grace."
- Bill Donaldson, Cadence, September 2003
"...Germanson shows intelligence and individualism in his own playing.He manages to generate a double-tempo solo that sound simultaneously spacy. He shows how to swing as the rhythm section evolves the cooking groove of "Lover" while he takes amore laid-back approach to the waltz in the sensuous solo piano preamble to "Susan's Waltz" while the sophisticated vamp of "Smokehouse Blues" showcases his quintet at it's most compelling. Germanson's approach to Monk's "Pannonica" is most unusual as he has re-harmonized it as mellow Latin variations promising the intriguing potential of future projects."
-David Lewis, CADENCE October 2003
About Rick Germanson:
"Pianist Rick Germanson performs with delicate grace...using just the right touch to evoke a variety of textures."
-Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz
"Pianist Rick Germanson gets his moment on the Bobby Timmons classic 'Dat Dere."
-JAZZTIMES Nov 2002
"Rick's next CD should be entitled "He Plays a Mean Piano!"
"Germanson contributes a lot of elegantly muscular piano."
-JAZZ REVIEW - U.K. 2002
"Pianist Rick Germanson turns in a performance worthy of the great Ocsar Peterson"
-CD Baby 2001
"Pianist Rick Germanson shows extraordinary invention and range..."
-Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews 2000