After receiving his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from New York University, Allan’s first job was playing keyboards in a band at the Concord Hotel in New York’s famed “Borscht Belt.” From the age of 15, Allan had been playing in the Catskill Mountains during summers and working on weekends as a “club date” musician in the New York Metropolitan area, playing at thousands of weddings, bar mitzvahs, and corporate events. Subsequently, Allan was keyboardist for noted Greek and Middle Eastern bandleader Gus Vali, with whom he toured throughout the United States, Morocco, and the Caribbean, performing music from the Great American Songbook, as well as Greek and Middle Eastern specialties. During this time, Allan studied at the Juilliard School and recorded Mainly Mozart, a popularization of Mozart’s A minor piano sonata, K. 310, with world famous drummer Steve Gadd, renowned guitarist Elliot Randall, and orchestra.
Over the past two decades, Allan has been playing with James Cammack, long time bass player for the legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. They have been playing both Allan’s original music as well as songs from the Great American Songbook. Allan’s current project combines Cammack with a cadre of classical musicians for the realization of his original music. Included are Timothy Fain, extolled by New York Times chief classical music critic Anthony Tomassini as a “brilliant young American violinist...(with)…technical finesse, lyrical ardor, and cagey control,” cellist Arash Amini, who recently had his Alice Tully Hall debut, the talented flutist Eveline Kuhn, and prominent international percussionist Satoshi Takeishi.
The music for 33K was created in my home studio between 2008-2010, in preparation for several concerts and a recording studio project. I am privileged to have played my compositions with these wonderful musicians.
The project was conceived after attending a concert at the home of my friend Sigrid Fried, where Timothy Fain performed classical and contemporary music with a string quartet. After being inspired by his extraordinary performance of Kevin Puts’ Arches, I offered Tim a ride home in my car, gave him a CD of my music, and an offer of a recording project. Several weeks later, I was thrilled when Tim called to express an interest as well as his enthusiasm for my song, Sadino, composed in honor of my daughter, Sara, who titled the piece. The first song Tim and I ever played was Sadino (Track 6).
At another of Tim’s soirees at Sigrid’s, I was impressed by the musicality of cellist Arash “Joey” Amini, and asked if he might be interested in joining the project. We had several duo rehearsals during which I was nourished by Joey’s classical sensibilities. Arash added gravitas to my musical compositions.
James Cammack, an extraordinarily talented musician, has been legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal’s bassist for more than 35 years. I met Jim at one of Mr. Jamal’s gigs more than 20 years ago and we have been playing together ever since. There is no human relationship quite like that of a pianist and a bass player and I am indeed lucky to have this extraordinary connection.
At a third concert at Sigrid’s, I introduced myself to the very attractive Eveline Kuhn, whom upon hearing my name exclaimed, “I love your music.” Stunned, I inquired how she even knew of my music. Eveline replied that she was married to Joey, the cellist, and had listened to CDs of our rehearsals. I had already known that Eveline is a flutist and immediately asked her to join our ensemble, to which she has contributed a new voice and an elegant flourish.
Sato Takeishi joined our group early on at the suggestion of Tim Fain. He is a wonderful percussionist and has not “missed a beat.” Sato is also a lovely human being.
For more than a decade, I had the privilege of playing hundreds of gigs throughout the New York Metropolitan area, across the United States and in Morocco with Gus Vali, one of the foremost interpreters of Greek and Middle Eastern music. He graciously lends his talent to the introduction of The Tiger Prince and is featured on Lonely Moon.
The Tiger Prince is dedicated to Sigrid Fried; Sweet Peace to Madelyn Simon.
Steinway M piano maintained by Ismael Cunha, who makes my piano sing! Recorded on a Korg D-3200 Digital Recorder; Rode, Blue, Audio Technica, and Samson microphones
I hope you enjoy the music!
July 1, 2017
Robert Allan - Piano & Synthesizers
Arash Amini - Cello
James Cammack - Electric Bass
Timothy Fain - Violin
Eveline Kuhn - Flute
Sato Takeishi - Percussion
Gus Vali - Saxophone
1. Butterfly - Tim + Trio
2. Shooting Star - Trio
3. Sadino - Eveline, Arash + Trio
4. Sweet Peace - Trio
5. The Tiger Prince -Tim + Trio
6. Sadino - Tim, Robert
7. Butterfly Too - Eveline, Arash + Trio
8. Vermeer – Tim, Arash, Eveline, Jim, Robert
9. Flying Eagle - Eveline, Arash + Trio
10. Lonely Moon - Gus + Robert
11. Butterfly Three - Tim, Arash, Robert
12. Sadino - Tim, Robert
All compositions by Robert Allan