New York Jazz Stories

New York Jazz Stories

 Portland, Oregon, USA
BandJazz

David Haney performs 9 Jazz Stories, narration and piano. Classic life stories retold beautifully. Click on the music tab to listen. 9 stories, told to David by the artists themselves, recorded and transcribed, and then retold by Haney with an improvised piano sound track. Sonny Rollins, The Bridge Story; Annie Ross meets Sarah Vaughan; John McLaughlin's story about recording with Miles Davis; Gunter Hampel remembers Thelonius Monk; Steve Swallow recalls his trip to Jamaica with Herbie Nichols.

Band Press

Blues Royalle and Ota Benga of the Batwa – All About Jazz

Pianist David Haney first came to the attention of the creative improvised music crowd through collaborations with trombonist Julian Priester. In addition to a variety of well-honed skills and fertile imagination, Haney's classical training enables him to expose the innards of composition while highlighting stylistic interconnectedness in a unique and resourceful manner. Two new releases continue in that vein but with somewhat of a twist. Blues Royale features Haney with a duo of bassists for postmodern explorations of seminal early country blues while Ota Benga of the Batwa pairs him once again with Priester for a program of historically inspired creative music.

All three musicians on Blues Royale create inspired music in the moment but this session's strength lies in the treatments given to classic tunes from influential country bluesmen of the '20s. Haney has chosen his muses wisely and kicks things off with a triple take on guitarist Tommy Johnson's "Big Road Blues . Johnson, a prototypical bluesman who, legend has it, went to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil, penned "Big Road Blues with traces of rag and minstrel that Haney and bassists Mike Bisio and Adam Lane use to their musical advantage. These bassists have complementary styles and what is a somewhat peculiar trio benefits from their ability to pluck and bow simultaneously, resulting in a very warm earthy sound that is most appropriate to the material. Blind Willie Johnson's gospel-infused "Soul of a Man and Papa Harvey Hull's "France Blues likewise benefit from their approach. Haney, who plays the piano's insides as well as the keys, is surprisingly at his best here when augmenting and comping behind Bisio and Lane. They, one in the left channel and the other in the right, make this a fascinating and different study of the blues.

Ota Benga of the Batwa musically retells the tragic story of Ota Benga, a member of the African Batwa pygmy tribe who was brought to America in the early part of the 20th Century. Exhibited at the Bronx Zoo until outcry from African-American clergy ceased the display, Benga spent part of his life in an orphanage before relocating to Virginia where he eventually committed suicide. Priester's trombone has an absolutely gorgeous tone and patina on these meditative pieces; he blends beautifully with Haney's thoughtful chords on the opening "Theme for Ota and its subsequent variations. The story continues with stops that reveal the resolute "Batwa Spirit , the insides of "Howard Asylum and the inevitable conclusion "The End of Ota . A beautiful duet recording that exquisitely merges Haney's inventive chords with Priester's rich timbre against an historically interesting backdrop.


Tracks and Personnel

Blues Royale

Tracks: Big Road Blues, Variation on Big Road Blues pt. 1, Variation on Big Road Blues pt. 2, Soul of a Man, France Blues, Old Landmark, Blues Royale, Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Cardboard Watch Dog, Good Morning and Good Bye, Blue Savannah.

Personnel: David Haney: piano; Mike Bisio: bass; Adam Lane: bass.

Ota Benga of the Batwa

Tracks: Part 1 - Theme for Ota, Part 2 - Variation on a Theme for Ota, Part 3 - Variation on a Variation for Benga, Part 4 - Batwa Spirit, Part 5 - Glasberg, Part 6 - Howard Asylum, Part 7 - Like Dersu Uzala, Part 8 - Fire Speaks and recedes, Part 9 - Sense Her, Part 10 - Sea of Glass, Part 11 - Shuffle, Part 12 - Uttarakuru, Part 13 - The End of Ota.

Personnel: David Haney: piano; Julian Priester: trombone.

Haney Trio Electrifies Valparaiso, Chile – Funcacion Valparaiso

Haney Trio Electrifies Valparaiso

24 November 2002

David Haney provided an out of this world jazz experience to an adoring crowd in Valparaiso



The 2nd Annual Valparaiso Jazz Festival, organized by the Valparaiso Foundation, ended with a huge crescendo when the David Haney Trio overwhelmed the unexpecting crowd with a virtuoso avanteguard homage to American composer Herbie Nichols.



After 3 days of more traditional jazz, ranging from big band to Latin, the crowd was eager to hear the headliners, but was unexpecting of the spectacle that was about to occur.



At 10:30, David Haney emerged with a wave to the crowd, performing two solo pieces that left the crowd mute and unsure of what was to come. Later, as Haney was accompanied on stage by bassist Jorge Hernaez and drummer Diego Chamy, the set continued to push forward into the unknown boundries of jazz expression, lifting the crowd from various states of confusion to outright ecstacy.



By the end of the night each musician had gleaned from their respective instruments the most unusual repertoire of sounds imaginable, including scratching, rolling, plucking, stroking, and groaning, accompanied by an exquisite technical precision that left the crowd riveted and mouth agape.

Before the performance, Alfredo Barria, executive director of the jazz festival and cultural director of the Valparaiso Foundation announced that next year's festival will be extended to 5 days, including workshops and classes. Foundation President, Todd Temkin, promised the press corp that he and Alfredo are cooking up some big surprises for next year's event.

David Haney, All Over the Map – Earshot Jazz Magazine

David Haney: All Over the Map
BY PETER MONAGHAN
David Haney is all over the map.
Not in the usual, derogatory sense.
Rather: He gets around.
He embodies, in fact, a weird, wonderful
facet of the lives of many players of imaginative, idiosyncratic, market-marginalized music: While audiences at home may number in the one-handed digits, he nonetheless travels to the far corners of the globe to perform with some of the most vaunted musicians of his ilk to audiences that may, from time to time, number well over a thousand.
Haney, a pianist whose accomplishment
far outranks his public profile, has even performed at American embassies, guarded with as much fire power and barricading as a regimental bunker.
“My pattern is I play in New York for exposure,” says the low-key, personable Haney, whose recent move to Seattle, adds yet another luminous name to this city’s cavalcade of highly accomplished musician residents. “It’s hard to get reviews
in publications unless I’m playing there.
“But what I have found is that by doing this I end up with permanent friends. Initially I have someone in my rhythm section, and they show you around. Soon, they’re the ones booking the next tour.”
Playing acoustic piano – in regular fashion, and inside the instrument, as well – Haney has performed or recorded with such world-class jazz musicians and improvisers as Roswell Rudd, Julian Priester, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, Bud Shank, Buell Neidlinger, John Tchicai and Gerry Hemingway.
Among musicians with their eyes open to productive collaborations, that has brought him enough attention that he has been able to find sustained playing
and recording partners in locations around the world. He has, for example, a rhythm section he works with in Belgium;
he plays with trombonist Johannes Bauer in Germany and drummer David Little in Dublin; he has musician friends in Lima, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Santiago, Chile.
Haney has come to Seattle from Portland
where he’s lived for many years. He moved there in 1978 to study at Clark College, across the border in Vancouver, Washington, then studied privately with Czech-American composer Tomas Svoboda
for five years – a formative experience.
“It was mindblowing,” says Haney. “He taught composition from a rhythmic perspective; notes were secondary.”
Haney’s compositional approach took another major turn after years of writing half-composed pieces. He explains: “I felt that great players have a lot to say about music as opposed to the composer trying to fill in the details. So I wrote headless scores. I got comfortable not dealing with melodies, because I was comfortable with the artists I was picking to work with.”
He put his energies into finding ways of writing that brought him into the company of great jazz artists who have experienced and learned a lot of the devices
that composers use, too. He says: “A lot of composition is using the best thoughts that earlier composers have come up with – a lot of little tricks, for lack of a better word, that people have used to animate pieces.”
But the turn came when he realized that his musical collaborators were happy with the improvised aspects as much as the written ones. “I thought, ‘Why am I knocking myself out if people like the improvised parts?’”
So, working with partners like the great, Seattle-based trombonist Julian Priester, “we just got together for a minute before we played. I learned this from him. Just to get in simpatico; definitely not to talk about the music.”
That, Haney says, “was my transition from composition to performance, about 10 years ago. I had spent years composing
for a small number of performances. I wrote a lot of liturgical pieces, at one point.” (A colleague had alerted him to the lack of organ and choral pieces appropriate
to the Catholic liturgy, post Vatican II.)
Haney’s decision to concentrate on improvising
stemmed in part from feeling cooped up at home writing. “I felt a real need to get out and perform,” he says.
He recorded Arctic Voices, a self-released
album of pieces that were largely composed in the studio with layering of instruments played by Portland-based musicians – renowned percussionist Obo Addy, guitarist John Stowell and singer Nancy King. He realized, however, that approach was not easily transportable to live performances, so moved on.
In 1997, he met another trombone great, Roswell Rudd, and toured and performed
workshops with him in Canada. “My theory was, if I survive that trip, I might do it again,” Haney recalls.
He adopted the approach of contacting highly accomplished musicians “to see if they’ll work with you. I went through the Rough Guide Anthology and started looking at names.”
With Rudd, he performed a repertoire of Herbie Nichols tunes. He noticed that Dutch drum maverick Han Bennink had taken part in a Nichols project, so he contacted him, and soon they worked together, too, in Canada.
Next came his ongoing collaboration with Julian Priester, which began with a recording at Jack Straw with early Cecil Taylor collaborator, bassist Buell Neidlinger.
Haney’s philosophy of seeing how far he could go was paying off. “They must have liked something in what I was doing,”
he concludes.
Most of Haney’s collaborations have been with musicians in other countries. At the end of the coming summer, he and Priester will go to Vienna to record a CIMP label album with Hans Strasser, the bassist with the Vienna Art Orchestra, and drummer Joris Dudley.
The travel plan has worked well for Haney. He recalls with particular relish
a trip to Argentina where he played for large audiences who received him warmly. His trio, with Argentines Diego Chamy on drums and Jorge Hernaez on bass, played to an audience of more than 200 at a stylish winery in Argentina; in Buenos Aires at the famed opera house, Teatro Colon; and at the 2nd International
Festival de Jazz in Valparaiso, Chile, to an audience of 700.
The most memorable performance, however, may have been one at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires (a similar one took place at the embassy in Santiago, Chile). “That was really bizarre,”
says Haney. The event, a Herbie Nichols project show sponsored by the U.S. State Department, drew a crowd of over a thousand people to a brand new theater. “When we arrived I saw that they were setting up for a huge barbecue; then I found out it was for us.”
But the embassy was “like a war zone, with concrete pillars everywhere.”
Not the kind of gig that an avant-garde, improvising pianist anticipates.
Haney’s recording history has blossomed
with an ongoing relationship with Cadence, the adventurous New York producer of Cadence Records and CIMP. Haney first released Caramel Topped Terrier with Priester, Bennink and Dutch bassist Wilbert de Joode. Next came For Sale: Five Million Cash, improvisations with Priester. In 2005, his The Music appeared, with Priester and bassist Adam Lane.
“I really like working with Julian,” says Haney. “Audiences seem to like that I’m all over the piano with frantic searching for the right notes, the best notes ever, so I present a frantic energy. And then, there’s Julian, just barely moving and hitting the perfect notes. People like that – one frantic guy and one very relaxed guy. It keeps things from being boring.”
More recently, CIMP asked Haney to think of a new approach, to vary his discography. He decided on an album of early blues tunes. The result is Blues Royale, just out, with two bassists, ex-Seattleite
Michael Bisio and Adam Lane.
For Haney, it was a return to his childhood
in Calgary where, as he puts it, “if anyone played, you went to it,” and that included several blues legends, including BB King, Freddie King, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy. Haney went to hear them all and says, “That left a deep impression.”
Also in the can is a suite of pieces he wrote for himself and Julian Priester.
Now, Haney is working on book of etudes, each one based on a different dynamic concept, which he will record in August with drum legend Andrew Cyrille. He decided to concentrate on dynamic variations – the volume of piano versus drums, for example – because “in improvised music, so much is going on that dynamics is one of the things that goes out the door: using and manipulating
dynamics to grab listeners.”
In Seattle, Haney has his connection with Julian Priester – they will tour in the fall. He also has other colleagues here, such as trumpeter Jim Knodle, but is yet to determine what else might make sense for him here. More’s the pity, Haney may end up playing relatively few gigs in his new hometown. It’s not just a matter of economics, he says – after all, it’s not that he’s making big bucks when he goes to, say, Lima, Berlin, or New York to play.
Rather, it’s about dignity and reception. “I’ve enjoyed going out and performing, but it can be sort of degrading to play in your own city, to some degree. You have to do it; it’s healthy; but you need to have something else, too. It’s hard to be creative and play exactly what you want to play if you just stay in your own environment.”
Still, Haney does have a gig coming up, this month (see below). So, perhaps if we turn out and can match the enthusiasm of the jazz fans of Argentina, Chile, Germany...
David Haney performs on April 7, at Gallery
1412 (18th & Union), at 8pm.

David Haney, The New World of Acoustics – Jazz Review.com

David Haney

The New World of Acoustics

Artist Interview by: Jeanne Harman


Avant pianist David Haney creates a style of music that is appealing, a style that draws listeners into another world. Improvising on acoustic instruments, Haney bases his music on dialogue, rhythmic rather than harmonic development.

When asked why he prefers acoustic to electric or digital instruments, David responds, “I use as much of the piano as possible…the soundboard, the strings, as well as the keys. This just can’t be done on an electronic piano. Something’s missing in electric and digital instruments, a complexity that enriches sound making language possible.”

When David speaks with his piano, students and audiences listen. In both concert and master classes, David improvises a universe of musical dialogue, of instruments conversing, or rather people talking to each other, challenging and inspiring each other. Enchanted students and audiences hear a spirited exchange and an emotional revelation and dialogue where one thought leads to another. They enjoy hearing musicians talking to each other in a language that exists beyond our spoken languages.

David studied privately with Czech-American composer Tomas Svoboda for five years, and he has spent many years playing with some of the world’s best improvisers, including Roswell Rudd, Julian Priester, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, Bud Shank, Buell Neidlinger, John Tchicai, Gerry Hemingway and many others.

Requests for Chaney’s master classes in improvisation come from all over the world. David teaches improvisation within the parameters of good composition…the creation of a new world of music within the old world of classical composition. By using figures of speech – musical parables, analogies, examples and the like, David teaches facets of composition. “Composition is the technique of communicating ideas in a clear way. To combine composition and improvisation, you transfer your thoughts to your instrument so that less and less time passes between your thoughts and your playing.

“Using principles of classic composition, you learn what other people have done; then when improvising, you apply the ideas in a free context. And that gives you new ideas,” Haney said. “Your craft as a composer gives you the tools to make your point musically. Figures of speech make great conversation and knowledge of the principles of composition makes for great improvised music.”

With Argentinean’s Diego Chamy on drums and Jorge Hernaez on bass, the David Haney Trio recently toured Argentina and Chile. The trio played several priced concerts, as well as free concerts sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Crowds surprised them at both. Multitudes of young people attended the concerts, along with children, their parents, and grandparents. “We didn't speak the same language, but we communicated musically. The most exciting thing to me was how appreciative and open to new music they were. They understand struggle and accomplishment,” said Haney.

Everywhere in Argentina and Chile it was the same. The audience kept quiet at first, but as each concert progressed, the crowd became more aware of the new music. “The people listened, they got it and they loved it,” said Haney. “And then they applauded, and they even cheered. Scores of them came up after the concerts, eyes wide open and full of questions about what we just did.”

Yes, it is a kind of magic—enlightening magic. In San Rafael, Argentina, the trio played at the exquisite Champanera Winery to more than 200 people. In Buenos Aires at Teatro Colon, one of the world’s greatest opera halls, the trio performed to an over-capacity crowd. Everywhere the David Haney Trio went, they enjoyed big crowds, culminating in a performance at the 2nd International Festival de Jazz in Valparaiso, Chile to more than 700 enthusiastic people.

The trio plans extensive tours this year in Europe and South America. As a quartet, they will play in Italy and Switzerland with the great Italian guitarist Enzo Rocco.

David Haney, The Music – All About Jazz

The Music
David Haney Trio | CIMP Records (2006)


By Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor
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David Haney has a talent for concocting recondite tune titles. The five-part "Pteradactyl Lunchbox cycle on the pianist's debut CIMP session is only one reflection of a remarkable intellect that revels in both humor and hand-spun absurdism. The disc's title is another, distilling its contents down to a most basic signifier and eschewing any sort of promotional embellishment. Musically, Haney and his A-list colleagues, Julian Priester and Adam Lane, are less difficult to draw a bead on. The program, which is challenging in places, is suffused with a strong consensual voice that's inclusive rather than alienating in scope.

Priester took part in Haney's debut date for CIMP's sister label, Cadence Jazz. Haney also has associations with Lane from earlier groups, so the three share common ground from the start. Recorded, as is the CIMP custom for piano-inclusive projects, in the confines of the Gilbert Recital Hall in Canton on a hot summer day, the session fortunately doesn't suffer any adverse sonic effects from the heightened heat and humidity. Each of the instruments is cleanly audible and evenly spaced in stereo mix.

Even at their most flurried and fecund, Lane's rubberized plucks lose nothing in the way of resonance or reach, and the full range of Priester's slide and pucker-saturated inflections remains on voluminous display. Most of the pieces are collectively improvised, but all retain a strong structural integrity that recalls the pastoral chamber jazz of antecedents like the Giuffre 3 and some of Albert Mangelsdorff's trios from the 1970s.

The three players regularly exchange roles, Haney ushering the way amidst counterpoint from Priester and Lane, only to slip seamlessly into a secondary position as one or the other of his partners takes the lead. Lane's rich scything harmonics on "Ear to the Hive replace Priester's sputtering patterns in mimicking the sounds of buzzing bees. Haney's pedal-dampened rumbles and errant string tugs follow, leading into a coda populated by abstract legato shapes.

There's a fair share of theme-guided playing too, as on the two versions of "You Span the Distance where Lane walks a plump blues line and Priester locutes lubricious ballad-style phrases on top. A liquidity exists in the latter's tonality that makes his interplay with Lane all that more inviting and successful. Long story short, the septuagenarian statesman of the trombone sounds better than ever in this setting.

As a leader, Haney knows how to balance jocularity with severity, space with readily a discernable carapace that brings out the best in the trio. The pieces rarely resort to flash or memorable ornamentation, working instead as hollow vessels for the players to fill on the fly. The sagacious and spontaneous approach yields genuine thrills that are palpable as each one unfolds. It's cerebral improvised music that doesn't forsake its humanity or soul—and channeled through the novel instrumentation, it works like a charm.

Track listing: Pteradactyl�s Lunchbox Part One: The Life Span of Thought; Pteradactyl�s Lunchbox Part Two: UnStuck in Traffic; Pteradactyl�s Lunchbox Part Three: Ear to the Hive; Pteradactyl�s Lunchbox Part Four: Starts with a Bang; Pteradactyl�s Lunchbox Part Five: Night Talk; You Span the Distance; You Span the Distance (fast version); Chasing Fives; Troglodite Broadcast; Blues in the Rain; Al Bear in a Can; Vahalia Junction.

Personnel: David Haney: piano; Julian Priester: trombone; Adam Lane: bass. Recorded August 12, 2005, Canton, NY.

Style: Modern Jazz


Caramel Topped Terrier – All About Jazz

Caramel Topped Terrier
David Haney Quartet | Cadence Jazz Records (2002)


By Glenn Astarita
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Canada-born pianist/composer David Haney states that the premise for this recording was based upon "spontaneously composed" material, although the artist subsequently replaced piano tracks on three pieces. Haney's resume includes liturgical and chamber works, hybrid jazz/classical improvisations, and music for ballet. This recording features jazz greats Julian Priester on trombone and Han Bennink on drums. The program is segmented into solo piano interludes, ensemble pieces and duets with the pianist and Priester. Haney utilizes rhythmic structures for the basis of his improvisation and thematic fabrications, yet much of the excitement occurs when the leader, Bennink, and bassist Wilbert de Joode mix it up.

It took this writer a while to warm up to Haney's rather choppy chord progressions and often-superfluous statements. An acquired taste for sure, but a lack of continuity surfaces on more than a few occasions, yet there are some heated and curiously interesting moments. In the liners, Haney prefaces the primary intentions of these separately recorded sessions with allusions to atonality and rhythmic underpinnings. Even so, some of these pieces prove to be rewarding where other areas seem a bit hedonistic or aloof.

Cadence Jazz Records

Track listing: 1.The Marionette 2.Caramel Topped Terrier 3.Spider Hunt 4.Blues In The Rain 5.Faster Piazzolla 6.the Bicyclist 7.Dialogus 8.Speedway 9.Faster, Pussycat, Kill 10.Span The Distance 11.Nine-Eights 12.Black Swan

Personnel: David Haney: piano

Style: Modern Jazz