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Greg Reitan

Primary Instrument: Piano

Greg Reitan

“I have been paying attention to Greg Reitan for several years now, finding him to be a pianist and composer who is already quite impressive and who seems to have a great deal of rapidly developing potential.” - Orrin Keepnews, from the liner notes for Antibes, released January 12, 2010 on Sunnyside Records

A native of Seattle, WA, Greg Reitan’s interest in music began at the age of ten. “I was fortunate to study with a number of great musicians,” he says, ‘[including] pianists Joni Metcalf, Dave Peck and composer/drummer Jerry Granelli. Summers were spent at the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop at Port Townsend, WA, where I studied piano with Hal Galper and arranging with John Clayton.” He won two scholarships to the Berklee School of Music, and the Kreielsheimer Scholarship at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle....
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Awards:

ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, 2002, Finalist, Hennessy Cognac Jazz Search, New York, NY, 1996, Finalist, Great American Jazz Piano Competition, FL, 1995, Finalist, John Coltrane Competition, 1991, Grand Prize: Best Score “Dumbarton Bridge” Providence, RI Film Festival, 1999, Harry Warren Award for Film Scoring, 1995, ASCAP Fred Karlin Film Scoring Fellowship, 1996
Reviews for Antibes (2010):

“Greg Reitan began the year with Some Other Time (Sunnyside, 2009), a spectacularly graceful record. He ends the year with another that equals - if not surpasses - the maturity of that album. Antibes is a work of exacting pianism and expansive grandeur. The record also dispels the notion that Reitan's music is an amalgam of his influences (Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett), for Reitan is a singular pianist with a technique becoming of a virtuoso of the highest order.”

—Raul d'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

“Reitan closes the disc with “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” done most famously by Frank Sinatra on the 1955 Capitol Records album of the same name. The pianist, performing solo, plays the melody straight - and such a lovely melody it is, especially in Reitan's hands; and what a spare and perfect close to a first-rate CD by a bright new talent.”

—Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“Reitan has an ease and natural quality to his playing, no matter the tempo or the pitch of the trio interaction. The phrasing and design of his theme and variations on the lazy “For Heaven's Sake” brings to mind unforced breathing. The floating time quality of Wayne Shorter's “Fall” — with Reitan's liquid movement and jewel-like grace notes — is the work of both a thinker and a conjurer.”

— Kirk Silsbee, DownBeat Magazine

Antibes confirms the positive first impression made by Greg Reitan's 2009 debut, Some Other Time. Reitan is a pianist with taste and a clear sense of purpose. He strives for “elegance and gracefulness.” The world needs more of both.”

—Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes Magazine

“The tracks with Reitan's own writing are the ones I keep going back to in Antibes. He told Orrin Keepnews, who wrote the admiring liner notes, that when he was preparing the album he had been listening to Glenn Gould play J.S. Bach. The title tune, the unaccompanied “September” and “Salinas” are direct reflections of that experience. Reitan so skillfully conceived them with Bachian rhythmic and harmonic principles and plays them with such precision and dynamic touch that one might almost be willing to accept that Gould had come back as a jazz artist. Reitan's Some Other Time was an impressive debut album last year. Antibes shows impressive growth and even greater potential.”

—Doug Ramsey, ArtsJournal Rifftides

“For his second CD release in less than a year, pianist Greg Reitan expands his horizons further with a program of originals and select standards identifying a blossoming player whose youth and experience at age 36 serves him and the listener quite well. He has passed the Bill Evans sobriety test, avoids clichés of speed demons like Chick Corea, and has a European classicists approach similar, but not totally beholden to Keith Jarrett or Denny Zeitlin. Intellectual without ignoring beauty and romantic aspects of modern jazz piano playing, Reitan has all the talent, sensitivity, and good common sense to be a top-notch interpreter and expressionist for a long time.”

—Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

“His own compositions are beautiful, but just as impressive is his taste in the lesser-known compositions of others, whether his “friend” Denny Zeitlin or Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Wayne Shorter.”

—Jeff Simon, Listening Post, The Buffalo News, NY

Reviews for Some Other Time (2009):

”A pianist of Reitan's mature genius is rare and he rises to the challenge of delivering a voice in a trio setting set by predecessors of the mythic quality of Paul Bley, Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett.”

—Raul d'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

”Boundaries are being stretched in the piano trio format, with jamband approaches and added electronics coming into play, but Greg Reitan plays the game straight, with a classic sound that harkens to Bill Evans and Ahmad Jamal.”

—Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“Pianists in their debut recordings rarely sound as poised and centered and fully formed as Greg Reitan . He waited until he was 35 to make Some Other Time, and he is a thoroughly schooled musician with an extensive resume as a composer for film and television. Still, it is impressive that every track here postulates a different challenging concept and executes it, seemingly without breaking a sweat.”

—Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes Magazine

”An old-school trio record of the highest order, Greg Reitan's 'Some Other Time' harkens back to the day when great tunes played by a swinging band were reason enough to make an album.”

—Jon Regen, Keyboard Magazine

”He is particularly effective on quiet and harmonically sophisticated ballads and one can think of his style as similar to Marian McPartland’s at her most modern. His music reveals new insights with each listen. Some Other Time is an excellent start to Greg Reitan’s jazz recording career.”

—Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene

“...Reitan’s first Sunnyside recording shows the pianist to be a sensitive and technically facile musician. Rare in these days of piano pounders, Reitan’s smooth lines, sweet sense of swing, and delightfully hip manner of approaching melodies, shows the pianist to be a welcomed breath of fresh air into a market overstuffed with piano trios that aim for grand expression and overblown preponderance of ruthless drive. With Reitan one finds a musician who can play as fast as anyone, yet only uses his ample technique when the moment is right.”

—Thomas R. Erdmann, JazzReview.com

”Young Los Angeles based jazz pianist Greg Reitan is clearly influenced by modern contemporary icons like Keith Jarrett and especially Chick Corea, but his thanks to Denny Zeitlin on the booklet may indicate a disciple's role from a very talented up and comer. This debut effort shows much promise in a similar path as Taylor Eigsti or Eldar Djangirov in Reitan's virtuosic, multiple-notes flash and brilliance.”

—Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

”Voici une musique délicieusement intemporelle, produite de surcroît par trois musiciens inconnus, ce qui ne fait que rajouter à son charme. Natif de Seattle et vivant à Los Angeles, Greg Reitan enregistre ici, à 35 ans, son premier album. Et l’on se prend à rêver qu’une telle perle rare vienne, chaque lustre, revigorer notre enthousiasme de pianophile toujours potentiellement prêt à sombrer dans le pessimisme quant à l’avenir d’une certaine conception de l’instrument.”

—Par Thierry Quénum, Jazz Magazine, France

”All of You, un beau thème de Cole Porter ouvre l’album. On en connaît des dizaines de versions, et pourtant Greg Reitan parvient à imposer la sienne, fait entendre une petite musique qui charme nos oreilles. Très vive, la main droite du pianiste brode de jolies notes perlées ; les harmonies sont belles et raffinées...Parions que ce dernier, encore inconnu de ce coté de l’Atlantique, ne le restera pas longtemps.”

—Pierre de Chocqueuse, Blogdechoc, France (Jazzman)

As a Leader

Antibes
Sunnyside Records
2010
Personnel: Greg Reitan, Piano; Jack Daro, Bass; Dean Koba, Drums

As a Leader

Some Other Time
Sunnyside Records
2009
Personnel: Greg Reitan, Piano; Jack Daro, Bass; Dean Koba, Drums

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