GABRIEL KAHANE AND THE DAN TEPFER TRIO
Joe's Pub at The Public Theater
(425 Lafayette Street, NY, NY)
Monday, May 14, 2007, 9:30 P.M.
Tickets: $12.00; at The Public Theater Box Office, by phone (212.967.7555 ), and online (www.tickets.publictheater.org)
Singer/pianist/composer Gabriel Kahane and jazz pianist Dan Tepfer have individually been turning heads of audiences and critics with their virtuosity and musical inventiveness. Now they are joining forces to explore the nature of songwriting and musical style and to make improvisation accessible through the explicit juxtaposition of theme and variation.
Kahane will play a set of his songs solo, and then Tepfer and his trio will play the exact same set, reinterpreted, giving both artists and audience a unique take on composition and performance and offering new readings refracted through an improvised idiom.
Kahane and Tepfer's work together stems from a desire to re-examine the long-standing jazz procedure of using songs from the American songbook as a basis for its improvisational style through putting the "base" material right next to the reinterpretations, and replacing the American songbook with a current songbook, as the starting point. Their work also stems from two friends trying to find a way to collaborate on stage when then both play the same instrument and specialize in different styles.
Gabriel Kahane is a boy who dropped out of high school and then graduated from an Ivy League institution. But he is neither pompous nor foolish. At least not at the same time. It's precisely this kind of mixed metaphor that drives Gabriel's artistic life: witness his Craigslistlieder song cycle, wherein he set ribald postings from craigslist.org to chromatic, harmonically dense, and rhythmically jagged music. It would be a mistake, however, to pin Gabriel as a gimmicky guy. For while he writes cheeky pop confections about the renovations at his local supermarket and the emasculating effect that American Apparel stores can have on a man, he's perhaps most gifted at (and most interested in) offering direct emotional experiences through introspective ballads. Brad Mehldau has said, "Gabe's songwriting really knocks me out. He's clearly absorbed a lot of art music but also has a keen pop sensibility." Steve Smith has stated, "…Clever wordplay was wedded to sophisticated, elusive compositions, capped by melodies that lingered." And Sufjan Stevens has written, "Some of his songs are deceptively pretty…."
Critics have called New York-based pianist/composer Dan Tepfer "brilliant" (Boston Globe), "one of tomorrow's jazz stars" (Eugene Weekly) and "certainly among those clearly willing to play with familiar formulas and take new approaches, even as he incorporates strokes from the masters" (Jazzreview. com). Born in Paris in 1982 to American parents, he started classical piano studies at the age of six, and immediately began to explore improvisation. In college, he majored in astrophysics before switching to jazz piano for his master's at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He tours internationally as leader of his trio and has released a debut CD, Before the Storm, which was voted one of the ten best albums of 2005 by Cadence Magazine. Most recently, he was awarded the 2007 Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association and both the first prize and the audience prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition. Dan has performed with Leo Konitz, Steve Lacy, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Bob Brookmeyer and Christian McBride, and has studied with Martial Solal, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Danilo Pérez and Bob Brookmeyer. (On May 14, The Dan Tepfer Trio will consist of bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Jochen Ruckert.)