"Meditate with the Masters literally began off the top of my head in the spring of 2006. I’ve always had the gift and the curse of being able to improvise in many styles, and one day, I impulsively took the Ode to Joy theme from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, gave it a “New Age” spin, and was pleasantly surprised. I then tried the same treatment upon other famous themes from the classical repertoire, with variable success, yet I kept at these little improvisations, and before I knew it, a project was born.
I began to notate what I had played, gradually returning to and refining each piece, digging much deeper into the material than I had anticipated. The recording took place over four days in April, 2010."
"Each of the fifteen tracks are respectively titled after the composer whose theme provides that particular arrangement’s starting point."
"After Chopin for example, transforms Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude into a delicate hymn, while After Schubert harmonizes the Unfinished Symphony’s famous first movement second theme in the spirit of the French Impressionists and my one-time mentor jazz great Bill Evans.
There are folk-like treatments of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Schumann’s Vom Fremden Ländern und Menschen from Kinderszenen.
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Pachelbel’s Canon, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 are recast in a wistful, conversational light.
The main theme of the Brahms’ First Symphony finale finds itself at the center of a gentle, cosmic toccata.
Sparse chords that are both tender and evocative put a new spin on Wagner and Shostakovich, while the program ends with a lilting, mantra-like repeating sequence that one might describe as Erik Satie meets Burt Bacharach, or Laura Nyro (I can’t help being a child of the sixties!).
Also included is an original toy piano piece (from 3 Landscapes for Peter Wyer, first recorded by Margaret Leng Tan), adapted for the concert grand especially for this release."