Randy Simon was born and raised in Los Angeles. Although he had piano lessons for a year as a child, and took classical piano lessons for a period while in graduate school, music took a back seat for many years as he built up a successful career as a physicist. I did not come back to the piano until about 12 years ago when I inherited the grand piano that I grew up with. I had it shipped to the East Coast, completely restored, and I started taking jazz piano lessons. After several years of study with jazz pianist Adrian Cohen, it occurred to me that I was a much more creative writer than I was a pianist. The lessons I took morphed into composition lessons and after a year, I had a handful of tunes that I had written. His teacher suggested that he record the songs with some top local musicians, and that was the beginning of the Randy Simon Jazz Project.
Since that time, Simon has released five albums (Suspended Motion, Awakening, Light It Up, Nyhavn Live, and now The Linda Sessions) that feature his colorful compositions interpreted by world-class musicians based in Upstate New York. Each project has been more complex and adventurous than the one before. Every time I complete one of these projects, it makes me want to up the ante for the next one.
The latest CD, The Linda Sessions, is an exciting program of modern jazz, filled with fresh original melodies, lively solos, and enthusiastic playing.
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Nyhavn Live is an outstanding performance by a group of terrific musicians and a
composer of significant talent and potential.
Nick Mondello at AllAboutJazz
Simon's compositions and arrangements are extraordinary.
Complex yet completely accessible, he paints dazzling
portraits in sound, creating perfect launching points for his
soloists. Light It Up, Simon's fourth album since 2008,
continues a run of exceptional albums that present modern
jazz at its best.
Awakening, the third recording of Simon's compositions, not
outstanding performances by the cream of New York's
Capital Region jazz scene,
but also well-written, memorable tunes that make this album