Uri Caine – USA

Uri Caine (born June 8, 1956 in Philadelphia) is an American classical and jazz pianist and composer. Caine began playing piano at seven and studied with French jazz pianist Bernard Peiffer at 12. He later studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he came under the tutelage of George Crumb. He also gained a greater familiarity with classical music in this period and worked at clubs in Philadelphia. He played professionally after 1981, and by 1985 had his recording debut with the Rochester-Gerald Veasley band. In the 1980s he moved to New York City where he lives now. He also appeared on a klezmer album with Mickey Katz and played with modern jazz musicians Don Byron and Dave Douglas … (full text).

… Caine, who has recorded 16 albums, is celebrated for his eclectic and inventive interpretations of the classical repertoire. His 1997 jazz tribute to Gustav Mahler received an award from the German Mahler Society, while outraging some jury members. Caine has also reworked Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, as well as Wagner and Mozart. (full text).

His bio also on his own website.

He says: … URI: Well, my attitude at Penn was … I heard professors say the most ignorant things about jazz, as if it were a waste of time, and my thing was, “As long as I’m doing your thing, don’t ever tell me not to do the other! And by the way, I never see you guys come up to 46th and Walnut to the jazz places. They’re three blocks from your school, and you won’t set foot in these places where the most amazing music is being played! So don’t tell me that!” And I guess they said, “OK! OK!” I had my problems at Penn, and felt very alienated by the time I completed the program. But the van Pelt Libarary at Penn is a tremendous library: they had so much music. One of the tests the department gave at the end of the year was a brutal one in which you had to identify any piece of music from 1500 to the present. Most students spent half a semester just to study all this music. I would just take out hundreds of recordings, and 8-10 hours per day, put on 30 seconds of each piece so I could recognize it. I did this for about five months, and something happened musically for me … (full 4-page interview text, ).

His website.


Uri Caine – USA

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In 2001, pianist Uri Caine, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Ahmir Thompson – three Philly jazz and hip-hop musicians – recorded a soulful stellar album, The Philadelphia Experiment, for the Ropeadope label of music old and newly original and inspired by our region … // … Their brand of blasted-out punk-funky jazz could put the “meat” in meatballs, especially with guitarist Nick Bockrath in on the fun. And this month, special guests from Philly’s Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars pay a musical tribute to South Philly including music from Rocky. Get there early for the snacks provided by DiBruno Brothers. Mangia. (full text, Feb. 20, 2009).

Upcoming concerts.

… Caine seeks grandiloquent melodrama one moment, komic kapering vaudeville the next. He preserves the pomp, but also sets off the pearl necklace detonators at the soiree. His vocalists arrive from diverse zones: Bunny Sigler (Philly soul on the Met stage), Dhafer Youssef (taking Moorish flight), Sadiq Bey (rap-poetic toughness), Josefine Lindstrand (ethereal balladry), Marco Paolini (Italian theatricality) and Julie Patton (cooled narration). Musicians include Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Zach Danziger (drums), Joyce Hammann (violin), Nguyen Le (guitar), Tim Lefebvre (bass), Stefano Bassanese and Bruno Fabrizio Sorba (electronics), although several more are on-hand for guest appearances … (full text, February 16, 2009).

… Caine’s Wagner extrapolations are more modest in scope. The inspiration for the project came from a passage in Wagner’s diaries in which he records hearing his overtures after a meal at the Quadri, a café in the Piazza San Marco then frequented by Austrians. Producer Stephan Winter asked Caine to arrange Wagner’s music for an ensemble similar to the one Wagner might have heard, and they recorded the music live in the very same environs. Caine’s string-quartet/accordion/piano arrangements of familiar Wagner opera passages capture the flavor of the originals. And the recording includes ambient sounds, such as the bells of San Marco ringing out at the end of the Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and the mundane sounds of café traffic, which add poignancy to the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde … (full text, OCTOBER 12, 1998).

Violinist Feldman, bassist Cohen, pianist Caine and drummer Baron have been involved on a number of Tzadik projects throughout the years, and this is another genuinely enjoyable one. Touching on the gentle chamber jazz swing of projects like the Masada String Trio and BarKokhba, the music improvises on music with a Middle Eastern feel, led by Feldman’s violin which achieves a sweet aching and longing on several of the tracks here. Caine’s acoustic piano isn’t often featured, but here he gets a bit of space and uses it to excellent effect, with some swinging and thoughtful improvisations and solid support for the other musicians … (full text, February 05, 2009).

Find him and his publications on iLike; on amazon; on his website/discography; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Players as acclaimed as Uri Caine speak highly of their fellow Philadelphian, pianist Sumi Tonooka, who deserves a far wider hearing but works at her own pace. Long Ago Today, her first leader date in 10 years and her fifth since 1990, is accurately titled in the sense that it was recorded back in 2004. Sadly, drummer Bob Braye died in the interim. But thanks in no small part to him, the music from this trio session pulses with life. Bassist Rufus Reid, Tonooka’s longtime musical associate and by far the best known of the three, completes the lineup. Tonooka made a gripping appearance on Reid’s Live at the Kennedy Center, a 2007 CD/DVD package from Motema. Her firm attack and lush, off-centered harmonic palette had much to do with the Reid quintet’s appeal and the same qualities permeate her trio music … (full text).

Die 27. Ausgabe des traditionsreichen norditalienischen Festivals wird dieses Jahr nicht mehr Anfang Juni, sondern vom 26. Juni bis 5. Juli stattfinden. Die neue kulturtouristische Ausrichtung vertrug sich nicht mit den Wetterkapriolen im Frühsommer – schließlich finden viele Konzerte „am Berg“, an öffentlichen Plätzen oder in Weinhöfen statt. An der Dauer des Festivals, der Zahl der mitwirkenden Musiker und der hohen Qualität des Gebotenen wird sich aber nichts ändern … // … Stand 2008 die Gitarre im Zentrum des Geschehens, so geht es dieses Jahr in Bozen ums Klavier: neben Bollani in verschiedenen Formationen gastiert Uri Caine im Rahmen von „Jazz and Wine“ mit einem Soloprogramm auf den Kränzelhof in Tscherms und der junge italienische Pianist Alessandro Lanzoni spielt in der Serie „Jazz in the Mountains“ mit seinem Trio auf dem Messnerhof. Im Stadtheater konzertiert Brad Mehldau, der sich ähnlich wie Bollani auf klassische Anschlagskultur bezieht, aber doch für ein ganz anderes pianistisches Konzept steht. Ebenfalls im Theater zu Gast sind Paolo Fresu, Uri Caine und das Alborana String Quartet – auch hier begegnen sich Klassik und Jazz auf unkonventionelle Weise … (full text, ‎Feb 9, 2009‎ … siehe auch 27. Südtirol Jazzfestival Bozen).


Loose Roots, Korean American Drum Troupe;

Artistic theory, practice converge in Artspeaks fellows’ appearances, February 5, 2009;

Are all Grammy awards created equal? Cdns nominated in obscure categories, Feb 5, 2009;

Jazz Police;

Christian McBride, Pat Martino, with The Philadelphia Experiment (album);

Questlove alias Ahmir Khalib Thompson, and The Roots;

All about Jazz.com;


Categories on wikipedia: Avant-garde jazz musicians; American jazz pianists; Jewish American musicians; Philadelphia musicians.

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