Joan Stiles
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Joan Stiles

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"Doug Ramsey on new release, "Hurly Burly""

"Adventure, daring, exuberance and wit inform this 2nd collection by the New York pianist and composer. I can't think of a new recording in years that has given me more enjoyment.

Stiles' arrangements, the vigor of her piano work, the musicianship and comaraderie of the band, kept me smiling for the entire hour on my first listen to "Hurly-Burly." Her spiritual kinship with piano heroes from Fats Waller to Jimmy Rowles is evident throughout as she weaves into her modern piano style the blues, swing, stride and boogie that still inspire her.
--Doug Ramsey - Doug Ramsey (liner notes excerpt)


"Zan Stewart on Joan Stiles Sextet at Smoke"

"Jazz--Old and New"
New York City pianist and composer, Joan Stiles mixes a deep knowledge of the jazz tradition with an ear for fresh sounds, giving her music a welcome authenticity that has contemporary heft."
(Aug. 2, 2007) - The NJ Star Ledger


""The New and the Notable" ("Hurly-Burly")"

"This NY pianist mixes a wicked sense of humor with exemplary taste and a smoking horn section. It opens with a colorful collage of Monk and Johnny Hodges, and ends with a weird and wonderful vocal version of the "In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee.'" - AARP


"Len Dobbin review of "Hurly-Burly""

"Pianist, Stiles, who also sings Mary Lou Williams' bebop fairy tale, "In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee" and a Ray Charles original, comes up with one of the years' finest releases. THIS ONE'S A MUST. 10 OUT OF 10!
- The Montreal Mirror


"Jeff Simon review of "Hurly-Burly""

"I love Joan Stiles' 'Hurly-Burly'. A lot. Stiles is not only the best female jazz musicians since Joanne Brackeen and Jessica Williams but also a fresh wit rare in jazz at any time. On Rowles' 'The Peacocks,' you're in a region of purity and beauty most jazz musicians couldn't find, much less inhabit so easily for five minutes. It's her 2nd disc and proves conclusively that she's a jazz treasure."
--Jeff Simon - Jeff Simon


"Dave Frishberg on new release, "Hurly-Burly""

"Each track is its own small event immaculately prepared by Stiles and masterfully played by all concerned--jazz playing of a very high order. Stiles writes and plays brilliantly with great respect for melody and clarity. She is an authentic original who also happens to have great taste in music." - -Dave Frishberg


""Mostly Mary Lou" concert review"

STILES IS A SKILLED MUSICAL ARCHITECT DEDICATED TO THE CRAFT OF BALANCE AND DYNAMICS, OF BLEND AND BOLDNESS AND BEING THE BOSS IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY.
Friday at A Place for Jazz, she led her quintet (featuring Jeremy Pelt and Steve Wilson) into the songbook of Mary Lou Williams...THE MUSIC MADE AN ARC OF INSPIRATION AND RESONANCE.
She claimed the spotlight to compelling effect in Strayhorn's "Blood Count," a duet of delicious delicacy, elegance and eloquence with Steve Wilson. Then Stiles found fresh things to say in "Take the A Train," swinging it by herself in a complex reimagining.
STILES IS MORE THAN A GRACEFUL INTERPRETER OF MARY LOU, DUKE AND MONK; HER PLAYING ILLUMINATED THE MASTERPIECES SHE MADE HER OWN.
---Michael Hocandel, The Daily Gazette, November 2003 - Michael Hochandel, The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY)


"Quotes and review exerpts for "Love Call""

"Swings with wit and verve, brimming with the joyous flair of a Wynton Kelly or Erroll Garner."
--Bill Milkowski

"With her sincere musicianship and arranging savvy, Joan Stiles is a breath of fresh air."
--Elliot Simon, All About Jazz NY

"Stiles achieves the simultaneous ambition of retaining tradition while modernizing it. "Love Call" shows an amazing immersion in the art of arrangement."
--Gregory Robb, Jazz Improv Mag

"I was surpirsed to see that this CD is a debut, since it is a totally assured performance showcasing the skills of Stiles as both pianist and arranger. AS SATISFYING A DEBUT AS I'VE HEARD THIS YEAR!"
--Paul Donnelly, e-jazznews, Oct. 31. 2004

- Bill Milkowski; Elliot Simon; Gregory Robb; Paul Donnelly


"Ken Dryden "Hurly-Burly" review in Billboard.com; All Music Guide"

Joan Stiles shines thoughout this pair of 2005 sessions that make up her second CD as a leader. The pianist recruited a first-rate band, including Steve Wilson (alto sax), Joel Frahm (tenor sax), trumpeter/fluegelhornist Jeremy Pelt, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash and then treated them to her inspiring arrangements and originals. Her wild, amusing "The Brilliant Corners of Thelonious' Jumpin' Jeep" mingles Monk's "Brilliant Corners" and "Thelonious" with Johnny Hodges' "The Jeep is Jumpin'" in an unusual tapesty that utilizes counterpoint to play one theme off another. Wilson is showcased in a fresh post-bop treatment of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" that retains the composers' playful attitude. Stiles salutes Mary Lou Williams with her inventive original composition, "Hurly-Burly," a challenging bop vehicle that is worthy of comparison to the late Williams' work. She also revisits Williams' unjustly obscure "Knowledge," along with a side-splitting vocal of the late pianist's "In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee." Stiles also is an impressive soloist, especially in her unaccompanied take of "'Round Midnight" that incorporates a bit of Chopin in her bassline. Highly recommended!
--Ken Dryden, All Music Guide - Ken Dryden


"Top Ten Lists -- debut CD, "Love Call""

Love Call was one of Cadence Magazine's Editor's Choices for 2004 (Robert D. Rusch, editor).
Love Call was on Elliot Simon's Top Ten list for 2004 in All About Jazz NY.
Love Call was on Elzy Kolb's Top Ten list for 2004 in Hot House Magazine.
Love Call was #9 on JazzWeek Radio and remained in the top ten for many weeks during the summer of 2004.
Love Call was #7 on the Frequency Media Artist Breakthough Chart (August 2004).


- Cadence, All About Jazz, Hot House, JazzWeek Radio


Discography

The sextet's new CD, "Hurly-Burly" was just released on Oo-Bla-Dee Records (July 17, 2007) and leaped onto the JazzWeek Radio chart. It is currently #12 and promises to be one of the top CDs of the year.

"Adventure, daring, exuberance and wit inform this 2nd collection. I can't think of a new recording in years that has given me more enjoyment." -- Doug Ramsey

"Each track is its own small event, immaculately prepared by Stiles and masterfully played by all concerned--jazz playing of a very high order." -- Davd Frishberg

"Joan Stiles shines throughout. She salutes Mary Lou Williams with her inventive original composition "Hurly-Burly," a challenging bop vehicle that is worthy of comparison to the late Williams' work. Highly recommended! -- Ken Dryden, All Music Guide, Billboard.com

Joan Stiles's debut CD, "Love Call" (Zoho) featured arrangements for an all-star octet with special guests, Frank Wess and Clark Terry. "Love Call" was on many writers' Top Ten Lists, a Cadence Magazine Editor's choice, #9 on JazzWeek Radio and was cited by Frequency Media as "one of the best new and emerging artist releases" on their Artist Breakthrough chart.

Photos

Bio

"Stiles writes and plays brilliantly. She is an authentic original."
-- Dave Frishberg

"...Swings with wit and verve brimming with the joyous flair of a Wynton Kelly or Erroll Garner"
--Bill Milkowski

Pianist/composer/arranger Joan Stiles has played and/or recorded with jazz legends like Frank Wess and Clark Terry and her current sextet features the beautiful and swinging work of world-class musicians Jeremy Pelt, Steve Wilson, Joel Frahm, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. Stiles' major influences include the great pianist/composers, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams. Since the year 2000, she has been re-arranging and performing the music of Mary Lou Williams in the ongoing concert series, "Mostly Mary Lou." Her newly released, CD, "Hurly-Burly" has been garnering excellent reviews and is currently #12 on the JazzWeek Radio chart. She is on the jazz faculty of the New School and Manhattan School of Music.