Virg Dzurinko, solo piano
Tracklist: 1. Fun City 2. What Is This Thing Called Love 3. Personal Day 4. Dinosaurs Rising 5. These Foolish Things 6. Traffic & Weather Together 7. If I Should Lose You 8. Seven Eight 9. The Nearness Of You 10. Free Transfer 11. Short Melancholy Baby 12. Swimming At Night 13. Autumn Leaves 14. Walk Don’t Walk 15. You Don’t Know What Love Is 16.There Will Never Be Another You 17. Darn That Dream 18. No Sleep 19. Blues For Lennie 20. Quitting Time 21. Another City
” . . . possessed of a stark and natural beauty . . . a diplomatic approach to the politics of melody and rhythm . . . opulent in ideas . . . Maintaining a high level of rapport with one’s instrument while remaining cognizant of an audience for the music can be a burden for any musician in a solo setting. From the music presented here, it’s apprarent that Dzurinko is more than up to the challenge presented by such sparse surroundings.” — Derek Taylor, Cadence Magazine July 2000
“Dzurinko’spiano playing is honest, heartfelt and builds increasingly rich textures” – Scott Yanow, Editor, All Music Guide To Jazz
Based on the brevity of information available
on this disc from its packaging, it’s difficult to gain a handle on Dzurinko’s background. Fortunately, her style at the piano is far less enigmatic than her origins and usually favors a light lyrical touch and diplomatic approach to the politics of melody and rhythm. Spreading her lithe fingers over an intimate gathering of standards and originals, Dzurinko sounds very much at home in the company of one. Most of the pieces are limited in length, but opulent in ideas. Her original compositions are possessed of a stark and natural beauty that often overshadows her warmer, more accessible readings of the standards. “Dinosaurs Rising” and “Seven Eight” are two such pieces that move across the breadth of emotions within the space of only a few minutes. Other pieces, such as “Traffic and Weather Together,”manifest darker moods through taut tone clusters and the careful use of dissonance. Maintaining a high level of rapport with one’s instrument while remaining cognizant of an audience for the music can be a burden for any musician in a solo setting. From the music presented here, it’s apprarent that Dzurinko is more than up to the challenge presented by such sparse surroundings. — Derek Taylor
Virg Dzurinko, Jazz pianist (and occasional vocalist)
became interested in jazz improvisation in the early 1970s after hearing a record of Lennie Tristano’s and learning, to her astonishment, that he was living in Queens, teaching and presiding over a thriving jazz performance scene. Through Lennie, she found her way to Connie Crothers, with whom she studied for ten years. Virg has been playing in clubs in New York City since the mid-1980s. She was lucky enough to have had a long-running gig at the late, lamented ‘J’s’ on the Upper West Side. During the seven years that ‘J’s’ was (arguably) the best spot for jazz in the city, she formed a trio with Alex Gressel on bass and and Ed Ornowski on drums, and then expanded this to a quartet featuring Gary Levy on alto sax. Following the demise of ‘J’s,’ she worked at ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’in Jan Leder’s quartet and with the Charley Krachy Quartet, featuring Charley on tenor sax and Joe Solomon on bass. She and Alex Gressel also had a steady piano/bass gig at ‘La Folie’ on the Upper East Side. And she was the solo house piano player for years at ‘Bondini’s’ in the West Village.
In a less public but no less important setting, Virg began performing when, as a student, she was invited to play at Lennie Tristano’s studio in Queens. She later had the sad honor of being included among the roster of musicians who performed at the 1979 memorial concert for Lennie at Town Hall. In 1983 Virg was presented by the Lennie Tristano Jazz Foundation in her first solo concert. In addition to performing in clubs and in concert, Virg has composed music for documentary films, television and animated cartoons. With Greg Ford, she co-wrote the tune Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives, sung by Mel Tormé in the Warner Bros. Daffy Duck cartoon “Night of the Living Duck.” This song is included on the Rhino Records CD “Mel Tormé at the Movies,” which was released in 1999. Virg lives and teaches in Manhattan. “Fun City” is her first CD on the New Artists label.
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
MP3 version (75.54MB zip download)