February 21, 2014
Following up on innovative releases with their own individual groups, pianist Ben Stolorow and trumpeter Ian Carey have returned to their straight ahead roots and documented their long musical friendship with Duocracy, an intimate album of underplayed standards and classic jazz compositions rendered with freedom and spontaneity. A conscious effort to explore the era of great American songcraft, Duocracy features rarely heard gems like “Little White Lies,” Tadd Dameron’s “Social Call,”a lilting rendition of Henry Mancini’s “Two for the Road,” and Gordon Jenkins’ achingly beautiful ballad, “Goodbye,” plus inventive takes on jazz favorites like Thelonious Monk’s “Four in One,” a barn-burning “Cherokee,” and an abstracted romp through Jerome Kern’s perennial “All the Things You Are,” all recorded in a single session where the only “studio magic” was the chemistry between the two players.
“We both love writing new, original music,” said Carey, whose 2013 album Roads & Codes (”★★★★1⁄2” –Downbeat) featured intricate composing and arranging, “but this time we wanted to let the songs really speak for themselves, and to give ourselves a chance to focus on chemistry and feel.” As their manifesto for the session proclaimed, “This day… we play JAZZ!”
”Ben Stolorow is a pianist with a gift for crafting alluring melodies that cry out for lyrics” − San Francisco Chronicle
“Ian Carey is a musician pursuing his own thoughtful, painterly vision” – NPR
Ben Stolorow’s first album, I’ll Be Over Here (2008), was called “a beautiful, introspective body of work reminiscent of some of the greatest piano trios” by Susan Muscarella (founder/director of the Jazzschool in Berkeley). Almost There (2011) brought a new fire and emotional intensity, reflecting Ben’s desire to share with the listener the freedom, release, and renewal which he feels can be achieved through making music. Since coming to the Bay Area from Los Angeles in 1994, Ben has become one of the most in-demand jazz pianists in the area both as a leader and sideman, performing at Yoshi’s, The Jazzschool (where he is a faculty member), and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, the Healdsburg and SF Jazz festivals, and Oakland’s Art and Soul Festival. He has also toured and performed throughout Japan, and has performed with many great musicians including Craig Handy, Akira Tana, Danya Stephens, Lorca Hart, Andrew Speight, Vince Lateano, Noel Jewkes, Michael O’neill, and Kenny Washington. Ben was awarded the Hertz Traveling Fellowship in 1998 to live and study in New York City, where he studied with great pianists including Fred Hersch, Stanley Cowell, James Williams, and David Hazeltine.
Trumpeter and composer Ian Carey has been a staple of the Bay Area jazz scene since arriving in 2001. His group, the Ian Carey Quintet, has released three albums on Kabocha Records—2006’s Sink/Swim (”An exciting set of music with a heavy-hitting lineup of musicians” –Greg Bridges, KCSM), 2010’s Contextualizin’ (”a digital master’s seminar” –All About Jazz), and his latest, Roads & Codes (”an array of evocative material” –S.F. Chronicle), which featured an expanded “Quintet+1” format and his most involved writing to date, as well as Ian’s acclaimed original artwork. In addition to performing with his own groups, Ian has been heard around the Bay with groups including the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Realistic Orchestra, the Crushing Spiral Ensemble, 8-Legged Monster, the Fred Randolph Quintet, the Circus Bella All-Star Band, and the Tommy Igoe Big Band, as well as groups featuring standouts Dayna Stephens, Betty Fu, and Noel Jewkes. Prior to coming to the Bay Area, Ian lived in New York City, where he performed with Eddie Bert, Ravi Coltrane, and the Next Legacy Orchestra, and studied with legends including Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, Andrew Cyrille, and Maria Schneider.