me- acoustic grand pianoforte (or in the absence thereof, a reasonable electronic facsimile)
I am a Baltimore-based creative musician. It took a long, long time to reach this level in my musical development. I am marketing my solo, piano (and piano-based) recordings and performance of my eclectic original music. It's hard to describe, but essentially it's based in jazz. Now jazz covers a lot of musical ground from Dixieland (complete with banjos) to blues (yes, blues as sung by poor, disadvantaged people in the southern United States) to fusion (originated in the 70's by Grover Washington Jr., Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul and the like) and experimenters and free-thinkers like Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie, David Murray and Cecil Taylor. It's all jazz. But it's very diverse. (No, David Sanborn didn't invent jazz!)
While my music is based in jazz, it sounds like none of the music described above. But it also sounds like ALL of the music described above. That with a heavy influence of 60's and 70's pop music (American and British) by such folks as Peter, Paul and Mary, the Buckinghams, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Beatles, the Hollies etc.) mingled with the 'art rock' that evolved from that music by names like Yes, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Genesis and more.
All this mixed around in my little brain and was hammered out in some form or fashion (on the accordion nonetheless) intermingled with Lady of Spain and the Beer Barrel Polka. Still learning from inspired young minds like Ani DiFranco, System of a Down, Beck, Fishbone, Metallica, Les Claypool and others.
Some pretty weird stuff to influence a solo pianist. But influence it has, and after playing music for over forty years, I now have the confidence and maturity to say THIS is what I've got to offer. I hope you like it.
I've played (in Baltimore) at the 13th Floor Lounge-The Belvedere, The Kiss Cafe, Gardel's Supper Club, The Full Moon Saloon, The Baltimore Songwriters Association, The Baltimore Book Fair and GBMC. Three CDs (CHROMATOSE , CRITIC'S CHOICE and PUT A FINGER ON IT) are available for purchase at http://cdbaby.com/all/rjozwiak as well as a host of cyber-outlets for download (cdbaby has a list). Please visit my website http://www.rayjozwiak.com or My Space http://www.myspace.com/gonzopiano
CHROMATOSE (2003), CRITIC'S CHOICE (2005), PUT A FINGER ON IT (2006)
PUT A FINGER ON IT by Ray Jozwiak is the third of his releases, a minimalist recording, just Jozwiak and a grand piano with his own compositions: no feedback to hide behind, no hi-fi, lo-fi, whatever. The result is an interesting array of jazz styles spread out over seven tracks.
"Can't Quite," for whatever reason, puts me in the mind of Philip Glass in spots, while "Honolulu Harry" begins with a riff which, just when you think is going to go on forever, becomes the foundation for some one-handed improvisation that takes the piece to a whole new place. The CD closes with the jaunty "No Regrets" which leaves one with the feeling of watching someone in top hat and tales dancing down the road, waving goodbye. Not a bad feeling that.
Jozwiak has a broad and deep knowledge of music and one can hear little snippets of this and that running throughout his work, just enough to put you in the mind of a long forgotten favorite before he turns it inside out or upside down.
While PUT A FINGER ON IT is not for everyone, there is certainly nothing for anyone to dislike on here, either. A perfect disc for dinner or Sunday morning.
Jovial piano-pop that bounces and bounces and bounces some more into the fun-fun land of crazy pianist pop. "Put a Finger On It" by one of Baltimore's truly fine pianist/lounge pop artists Ray Jozwiak is a fun album to hear at your local saloon.
SoupyGato Show (webradio)
Daniel J. Harris
"I dig him, I dig him, I dig him."
The Fevered Brain of Radio Mike
Radio Mike, Austin TX
RAY JOZWIAK describes himself as the Gonzo Pianist (as the RadioMike ID reveals once you listen to the show, and you should), and he is, but this is some fun out of the Ordinary piano work as successive Listens will reveal. And you should Listen Many many times. Hopefully, he'll take his Piano on the road and Impress a few Gonzo piano fans.
Wearing his jazz influences on his sleeves, Ray Jozwiak has an aurally engaging style, with an amazing talent for composition. Sprinkled among classic jazz runs, pop/rock inserts, and hints of broadway are broken and fractured fingerings that draw the ear in deeper, and keep you anticipating the style change that is inevitably lurking around each corner.
Tom Goss, Washington DC – area artist/promoter/MC
Baltimore-based jazz pianist Ray Jozwiak-Gonzo fuses all types of Jazz from Dixieland to early blues and incorporates his own flair in developing a sound that you will be hard pressed to package. With the release of his third, critically acclaimed CD "Put A Finger On It" Ray is ready to bring his self-prescribed "fractured jazz" to our ears.
. . . Jozwiak bills himself as a "gonzo"pianist, and the tag fits, as his CD, Critic's Choice, attests. Throughout the disc, Jozwiak displays a fractured, Monk-ish melodicism that's balanced by a steady left hand. All eight songs have a peculiar charm, and "Back Porch" injects a peculiar Joe Jackson-like vocal into what is basically a solo piano recording. Somehow, it all works and the disc qualifies as a most pleasant surprise.
The Daily Sentinel,Grand Junction, CO
I'm so naive. I think I can write a fair review for any type of music they throw my way. Ray Jozwiak's CRITIC'S CHOICE almost cleared away that delusion.
The first song, ALBERT, struck fear in my heart. I like to go with my first impressions of a song and let the artist build upon that. So what was I hearing? It sounded like an out-of-tune, jazz version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." I couldn't erase the mental image of Snoopy dancing on top the piano.
No matter - I plugged on. I won't do a review unless I've listened to the entire CD. The next two songs had me thinking this Ray Jozwiak was the love child of Linus and Mary Lou Retton. I could visualize the tumbling runs as Linus pounds out the goofy dance beats the athletes must writhe to.
It wasn't until track four, MONEY, that I finally got it. Ray brought in some funky bass that changed the cold striking of the keys into smooth, honey-fingered piano jazz. The rest of the CD was an effortless listen. Jozwiak is talented and needs to be heard.
Go to your local music store and demand it. (On line at http://cdbaby.com/cd/jozwiak2)
The Green Lounge (ORN) Outlet Radio Network
Ray is an incredible pianist and this CD shows you his unique and cutting edge jazz style in spades. Although very difficult to pigeon-hole and self-admittedly unique to any genre, his style is at once esoteric yet melodic and demands the listener to really pay attention. His writing takes you on jazz journeys that take you to places you never expected to go and make Ray an interesting listen. I like to call this "Brandy Music", cause it goes so well with a snifter in hand. My personal favorites on this all-original CD are "Spencer's Mambo" and "That Much." You can catch Ray at the piano regularly in Baltimore at the Belvedere on Thursday Nights. For more information on Ray or to purchase this CD, please visit www.rayjozwiak.com.
"Um, um good!" is an apt title for Ray Jozwiak's latest release. Love they way he weaves the stuff of his life (namely his family) through the fabric of both the music and the packaging. I do wish he sang more though; the one selection that features his "jazzy" vocals reminds me of Edgar Winter's "Entrance" which has long been one of my faves. The good news is that it is a lengthy piece, easily covering the time span of 2 or 3 more conventially timed tunes. Orchids, Ray!!!
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