Primary Instrument: Piano
From Bach to Bowie, east coast to west coast, piano keyboards to computer keyboards, Mike has worked to make the world a more creative, compassionate and compelling place. He remains a man of many talents and limitless inspiration. No artistic medium is off-limits to this avant-garde individual to whom the word no is quickly - and seemingly effortlessly - transformed into the word now.
Best known for his impressive skills as a pianist, he is a respected composer and a budding computer artist. Embracing the idea of the Renaissance Man, Mike continually experiments with new ways through which he can communicate his humanistic ideals....
It is pointless to talk about his ability as a pianist. He is exceptional. However, there are very, very few musicians, let alone pianists, who naturally understand the movement and free thinking necessary to hurl themselves into experimental or traditional areas of music, sometimes, ironically, at the same time. Mike does this with such enthusiasm that it makes my heart glad just to be in the same room with him.
Billy Corgan, Alternative Press (October, 1999)
Of the whole lot, Mike is the true genius; we are all just toys in his atonal wonderland.
Billy Corgan, Addicted to Noise (September 5, 1999)
He's a master piano [player]... he was the first person who probably introduced my young mind to the concept of atonality. Bowie's music at the time in the '70s was the first music I ever heard that I thought, 'This is different, where did this come from?'
Trent Reznor (In a 1995 Interview)
My latest thing I'm hot to do is collaborate with some other people. Probably at the top of my list this second is Mike Garson from Bowie's band. He's a phenomenal pianist/keyboardist. We've been messing around at the soundchecks, just playing stuff, and I don't understand how that sound's coming out of his instrument.
Mike Garson speaks with emotion in his hands. Melody, harmony, and rhythm get churned into a Garsonian spread with wild and extraordinary spices. I won't forget the night he exploded my piano into thousands of inspired notes finely funneled into the tape recorder. He mixes history with true abandon. He eats the piano like a box of popcorn. He makes music out of anything and nothing. He makes me laugh. He gives people joy.
David Cavanagh, Q Magazine: Changes Fifty Bowie (1997)
Garson...is a phenomenal keyboard player who brings a strong visual presence to the show…at soundchecks, he executes astonishing flourishes of concert piano without even looking at the keyboard. He is enjoying working with his old boss again.
Lex Marburger, Lollipop Magazine Review of Earthling (1997)
[Garson] completely fractures the symmetry of the song with his Cecil Taylor impersonations, so arhythmically that the Jungle beats have to race to catch up. Garson's done some amazing work for Bowie before, but he truly stands out on this album.
Goldmine Magazine on Aladdin Sane (December 3, 1999)
Mike Garson's angular piano playing is the perfect representation of the mood that permeates this album.
Gary Grain, Mr. Showbiz Review of The Fragile
Ultimately, though, Nine Inch Nails' appeal is… how good Reznor and company which this time out includes King Crimson's Adrian Belew and David Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson make it sound.
Harvey Siders, Los Angeles Music Critic
Garson has a dry wit, is an excellent writer, exciting soloist, and he comps sympathetically, listening to his sidemen, answering their phrases. His body language at the keyboard reflects every rhythmic nuance.
James Liska, Los Angeles Music Critic
A teacher of budding pianists, a composer and arranger and leader of his own trio, Garson is clearly coming into his own and will, no doubt, become one of the major artists in jazz.
Lee Underwood, Downbeat Magazine
He took us through a journey that encompassed at least 50 years of American jazz and 100 years of European classical music. He transformed Over the Rainbow in a fashion that would have pleased Art Tatum, Bud Powell and Lenny Tristano... Sometimes he alluded to the melodic theme; at other times he utilized it only as a springboard for surrealistic improvisational or Rachmaninoff... He displays a thorough knowledge of the classical giants, a thorough knowledge of the elusive art of improvisation. He brings all of these elements into a new light through his personal, unique vision.
Jim Merod, StereoTimes.com (December, 1999)
Among pianists today, few are as emotionally engaging and simultaneously explorative as Mike Garson is.
- Avant Garson (1979)
- Jazzical (1982)
- Serendipity (1986)
- Remember Love (1989)
- The Mystery Man (1990)
- Oxnard Sessions, Vol. I (1990)
- A Gershwin Fantasia (1992)
- Oxnard Sessions, Vol. II (1992)
- Now Music (Volume IV) (1998)
- Homage to My Heroes (2003)
- Conversations with My Family (2008)
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