Ben Winkelman Trio
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Ben Winkelman Trio

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The best kept secret in music


"4 stars"

**** “Just when we thought everything possible with jazz piano trios had been done, this Melbourne trio's debut album forces a rethink.”
John McBeath, The Australian
- The Australian

"Winkelman's 14 joyous originals"

“The debut album of Melbourne’s Ben Winkelman Trio is quite splendid. Pianist Winkelman’s 14 joyous originals embody the exhilaration of music making and not a hint of fat. …here we come a little closer to the divine.”
Ken Williams, The Age EG
- The AGE, EG

"Here's a party"

**** “Here's a party with conversations everywhere…”
Leon Gettler, The Age Green Guide
- The AGE


Stomps Pieces & Variations (Jazzhead)



Stomps, Pieces and Variations is the debut release from Melbourne pianist Ben Winkelman. The 14 tracks were composed over a period of 14 years, and represent a diverse cross section of Ben’s jazz writing until now, with influences ranging from Herbie Hancock to Jelly Roll Morton, Brazilian music, gospel and Bartok. The title reflects the influence of pre-modern jazz styles, re-interpreted in a contemporary setting.

Ben studied with former Jazz Messenger Mickey Tucker and Paul Grabowsky in the early nineties and has led an active professional life ever since. He has pursued numerous musical interests, such as salsa, Brazilian music, tango, klezmer, electronic music and classical music, but his main focus remains jazz. He was a member of the pioneering live electronica act Ping, and still plays with Rumberos, the popular 14 piece Afro-Cuban band.

“During the period that I wrote the pieces that have a stride feel, I was listening to a lot of Ellington recordings, especially small group sessions, and checking out Jelly Roll Morton pieces. I was attracted to the vitality and humour in this music, and I got to thinking that there’s a whole tradition in jazz that has nothing to do with bop or post-bop that I had mainly neglected until now, and I wanted to find ways to use some of it in my own music. One of my early teachers, Mickey Tucker, used to say that learning jazz was like learning a language, and learning about stride has been like discovering the missing sections of my jazz dictionary.”

“The pieces are mainly very through-composed; they are often more like “arrangements for trio” than jazz tunes per se. They make use of hits, stabs, and lines that are broken up across the three instruments, harking back to a Red Garland concept of the trio as mini-big band, but again with a modern twist. My big influence in this was listening to Milton Banana, a 1960s samba drummer little known outside Brazil, but who I was lucky enough to discover.”