My first album offers a soothing blend of solo piano and jazz trio selections. Recorded in 1997, my wife often referred to the album as her “massage music” because it begins in a relaxed fashion and sets a mood right from the first note. As an extra bonus my good friend Karan Chavis, formerly of The Brew, sings on a couple of the songs. You are sure to enjoy this wonderful recipe of standards, served up with just the right amount of spicy jazz flavor.
When I’m working a gig and I ask if anyone has a request, the one request that always stumps me is when people ask me to play my favorite song. That’s a tough one. One thing I’ve learned as a piano player is there have been so many great songs written it would be hard for anyone to master them all in a lifetime. Sometimes my favorite song changes on a daily basis, but I would have to say that this collection of tunes is definitely among my favorites. I grew up with music. At thirty-five, after playing piano and trumpet for over 20 years, I guess I’ve just about come full circle. From church music and gospel, to western swing, then Dixieland, rock, jazz, bebop, funk, rhythm and blues, to spending five years on the road with a big band playing ballroom dances, I loved it all. Now, as with my life, I find myself playing at a more relaxed pace, as in the beginning, taking time to enjoy the melody. To this I owe my wife, Margaret, the best thing that ever happened to me. She grew up on big band music and knows more old songs than I do, and she’s not a musician. She broadened my horizons, and introduced me to the present, while at the same time helping me become more familiar with the old songs I love so much through recordings of great vocalists of the past which I had either never heard of, or largely ignored. She taught me that the songs are about the lyrics even they’re not being sung. Most importantly, she taught me life is about love and sharing, and family, and jazz should be fashioned for everyone, not just musicians, to enjoy. After all, music itself is about melodies and harmonies working together like colors in a painting, giving form to an idea, blending with human expression to make something tangible out of a feeling. There was a good feeling in the air on the date of this recording, and I think it shows. I would like to thank Ron White, a great player and a great friend who put his all into this project, and Paul Bowman, one of the finest drummers I know. To Karan Chavis, thank you for sharing a little of your magic with us, we love you.
Special thanks to all my friends and family, especially my parents, wife, and my children, and to God for blessing me with the gift of music. Through music and love, I have found my place.
~ Greg Tivis
Greg Tivis, piano & trumpet
Ron White, bass
Paul Bowman, Drums
Special Guest: Karan Chavis, vocals
- Medley: Someone to Watch Over Me/ Over the Rainbow
- The Way You Look Tonight
- Mood Indigo
- There’s a Small Hotel
- St. James Infirmary
- More Than You Know
- Just One of Those Things