richard  bliwas

richard bliwas

BandJazzPop

Biography

The pianist has been compared to Laura Nyro, Tom Waits, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, The Beatles, Van Dyke Parks, Mose Allison, Brian Wilson and Sun Ra-- but as All About Jazz said in it’s review of Rising Rose Records 2004 release Ghost “ His writing is unmistakably original …. Cadence Magazine said in it’s review of Compose Yourself “ Bliwas transforms intricate phrases into seamless music , and Shredding Paper said in it’s review of Walk the Bike “ Bliwas walks the line between jazz and folkrock with confidence…producing a dialectic sound that compliments rather than conflicts. His lyrics have been described as profound, cryptic, silly, perceptive and poetic. Hidden tracks on a couple CD’s led one music journalist to proclaim that "Richard Bliwas has a great sense of humor…”

Soon after studying with composer Olivier Messiaen, pianist Joseph Schwartz,and poet David Young at Oberlin College and Conservatory , Richard's early 80's groups with Ben Sher and Ned Goold were incorporating the influences of Miles Davis , Brian Eno , Syd Barrett and The Beatles , in intimate innovative recordings-- and in performances at the Kool Jazz festival , smokey old Pittsburgh jazz clubs where Benson and Eckstine played a few generations earlier or rock/punk clubs like The Electric Banana. The music however, freely crossed genre lines, foreshadowing alternative and contemporary styles.

By 1984 Richard's odyssey of gigs were taking place in and around New York City--from playing piano for Jacques d'Amboise and the National Dance Institute , to infusing his sensibilities as a pianist/improviser into the jazz and pop music he loved everywhere from CBGB's to the 21 Club, to creative structural and line by line editing of Cynthia Kadohata's acclaimed first novel --The Floating World.

It seemed that Richard might spiral forever in his organic world of anonymous gigs, bike rides to the museum and sourdough breadbaking , when a renewed interest in recording, sparked by a suggestion from the great jazz artist Paul Bley, led him to record his first CD's -- Compose Yourself -- solo, duo and trio improvisations --which recording engineer David Baker called great musicians, recording and performance." and Cadence Magazine called "engrossing and creative, seamless music..." and the painterly production of songs and improvisations from another single afternoon stream of consciousness session, Walk the Bike which Downtown Music Gallery called timeless and exquisite, an album which could have been made in the late 60's if they didn't know better.

Walk the Bike which reached # 1 at CFRC an enlightened college station in June 2003, was played on dozens of other public and college stations including Stanford's KZSU, and praised in reviews from Music Dish, Shredding Paper, All About Jazz (Italy),The Big Takeover etc.. but was inherently impossible to catergorize and often misread.

Ghost , released in Sept. 2004, called Richard's most ambitious work by All About Jazz, reunites his early 80's trio with Brazilian great Valtinho Anastacio. Within a few weeks of it's release it climbed on to a dozen or so college and public radio top 10's such as KTUH , and apperances or as with Ghost -- apparitions-- on playlists like WBRS Brandeis and Stanford's KZSU Zookeeper were becoming frequent . It was also praised in reviews from Cadence Magazine , All About Jazz , and All About Jazz (Italy).

Yarrow Stalk Bridge , released in June 2005 has followed in Ghosts' footsteps , with reviews from All About Jazz Italy , Downtown Music Gallery among others , and more college radio play like WNCW and top ten on a growing number of insightful stations like CKXU.
DMJ (who recently listed Walk the Bike in their top recommendations for 2005) states in it's July 1st 2005 newsletter which reviews Yarrow Stalk Bridge . "Richard is a truly gifted piano player and songwriter who should not go unnoticed for very long. "

Discography

Compose Yourself ten improvisations (2000)
Walk the Bike ( 2001)
Ghost (2004)

Yarrow Stalk Bridge ( 2005)

Set List