Monday, August 22, 2011

Black and White in Living Color

note: we take a break from our regularly scheduled Jovi/Jukes ramblings for this special worries, I'll be back with more Jovistuff soon

I will admit it. I am quite addicted to (most) pianist/singer/songwriters. They’ve always resonated with me. Not quite sure why … maybe it’s because I can actually play the piano and I can’t play guitar. Seriously! I suck. And, what’s that about? I can play the frickin’ bassoon – which admittedly most people can’t – and yet, the “every man’s instrument” that the average bloke can at least decently strum while sitting around a campfire totally befuddles me!? Ugh. Ok … rant over. Moving on.

Back to the subject at hand.

Yes, they get me every time – those black and white keys - from Elton John to Michael Feinstein, Billy Joel to Barry Manilow (oh, be quiet … they’re good songs!) And then there’s the “newer” generation of pianist/songwriters … like the fabulous (and quite adorable) Gavin DeGraw.

But today I’m writing about one of my new favorite artists. I was introduced to Jon Regen through the Jukes' Jeff Kazee (yet another pianist/singer/songwriter.)

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve seen me posting about Jon Regen’s new album, REVOLUTION. In a stroke of brilliance, he started streaming the yet-to-be-released cd in its entirety on his website sometime back. What a great thing! How often do you have the opportunity to listen to a full record before buying it? I liked the concept because it’s usually the obscure track (rather than the single) that you end up falling in love with … right?

So after listening to it for a few weeks, I finally sent Jon a message asking when exactly I could buy it so that I could finally turn my computer off. Being the nice guy he is, he immediately drops a signed copy in the mail to me. Yay! Now, I could have “One Part Broken, Two Parts Blue” on constant repeat! (When you buy the album, you will, too. Trust me.)

Born in New Jersey (what is it with me and Jersey musicians?! haha), to me, Regen’s music really just captures the feel of New York City so well. It's this great mix of jazz and pop, a beautiful way with words (check out "Spirits of the Soul" *sigh*) and a groove that just gets into you.

Gotta love that line: You hold me close then you push me away...there's a doctor you should see about your split personality. :-)

So, in short I'm telling you ... go buy this album. Period. Right here ... click right here.

And if you live in/near NYC, join me at The Blue Note on September 12th for the cd release show. You know how to reach me ... @bigapplejen on twitter.

P.S. And well, since I did mention Gavin DeGraw… if you haven’t heard his new single “Not Over You” where have you been? It’s all over the radio. His new album is coming out in September as well. Yay! Check out this great acoustic version with him and Billy Norris. Glad to hear Gavin is recovering well and looking forward to seeing him back on the road.