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Mark Kramer Mark Kramer

Born November 3rd, 1945 “Mark is an unheralded Philly jazz institution: self taught, prodigiously gifted, obscure . . . yet among musicians his reputation could not be heavier; his list of credits as an accompanist and arranger reads like a modern jazz encyclopedia.” (Nate Chinen.) Numerous critics have favorably compared Kramer's style to that of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and Herbie Hancock, but one which is singularly his own. He is credited with inventing a rich harmonic vocabulary and a distinctive pianistic style, nearly, if not fully, in tandem with the above masters. From age four, Mark was classically trained on violin by members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In his mid-teens, Kramer shifted entirely to bass, saxophone and piano, and then focused entirely on jazz piano. In the early years, Kramer played piano regularly with Randy and Mike Brecker, Charles Fambrough, Stanley Clarke, Eric Gravatt, Sonny Fortune and many other Philadelphia jazz giants. Arguably, an unwritten portion of jazz history took place at Mark's apartment on Ridge avenue in Philly. There one would find Charles Fambrough, Eric Gravatt, Mike and Randy Brecker, Daryl Brown, Stanley Clarke and so many others assembled for hours/days of non-stop jamming and recording. Mark still plays with and/or produces records with Fambrough, Randy, and Gravatt.

Mark is best known for his work with the Mark Kramer Trio. Originally conceived as an acoustic-electric-fusion group in the late 1970s - featuring Paul Klinefelter on bass, and Mike Dougherty on drums - it would quickly mature into a complex acoustic chamber ensemble. Over the years the trio performed several times weekly at clubs and concert halls, and won numerous awards and commendations (see below).

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From present to past

“Mark Kramer is a jazz piano giant, finally being discovered, moving the modern mainstream of jazz forward, combining his early influences and formidable technique with fresh ideas that form his own individual voice.” Scott Yanow, 2008

“The magical interaction between Mark Kramer and Eddie Gomez cannot be overstated for it is rare to find two individualists thinking as one and always seeming to know where each other is heading. . . [these are intimate and classic conversations.] (Scott Yanow, jazz writer, AMG/other)

“. . . wonderous sounds and emotions with sensitivity and clarity.” George Harris, AAJ

“Mark is

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Album Jazz Greetings by Mark Kramer

Jazz Greetings

Dreambox Media
2009

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