Life of Sensitive Creatures Tony Tixier
- 1I Remember the Time of Plenty05:20
- 2Denial of Love05:20
- 3Tight Like This03:57
- 5Home at Last04:30
- 6Calling into Question04:42
- 7Darn That Dream05:29
- 8Blind Jealousy of a Paranoid04:11
- 9Isn't She Lovely02:36
- 10Causeless Cowards05:08
Info for Life of Sensitive Creatures
Radiating a venturesome singularity inspired as much by Maurice Ravel and Art Tatum as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett or Aydin Esen, pianist Tony Tixier’s debut piano trio release, Life of Sensitive Creatures, features his original work alongside inspired interpretations in a stimulating program which breathes beauty and ingenuity.
Originally from France, Tony moved to NYC in 2012 and began to collaborate with a host of luminaries before his recent relocation to Los Angeles; yet this recording focuses on Tixier both as imaginative composer and mindful pianist: “As well as my sideman role, it also feels good to have my own voice and give life to my own melodies – so this feels different to my other projects. A trio is more about a direct, spontaneous and flowing conversation with artists who have something more than just the technical ability, so I chose players who are my friends and who feel a special empathy with my writing”. This open enthusiasm and willingness which Tixier receives from double bassist Karl McComas-Reichl and drummer Tommy Crane is affectionately described by the pianist as working with musicians who are “beginners with ‘big ears’” (in truth, both are accomplished, with experience garnered from playing in many line-ups). “My music needs more than solo piano, so they shape it, provide space and move it in different directions”.
Tixier’s creativity began early, studying classical piano at a conservatory from the age of six: “As a kid, I also wrote poetry – about life, happiness, sadness, illusion. So creating music is an extension of that – not in terms of a huge novel, but more like short stories, and all in a defined sequence. I use a journal to note down titles or a feeling, then a melody or a bass line might arrive; and I try to write every week, with two-, maybe three-hundred songs to date”.
The striking sincerity of the album’s cover art depicts Tony, as a child, in his mother’s arms – a visual representation of opening number ‘I Remember the Time of Plenty’, whose retrospective hazes and ebullient rhythms communicate the fleeting energy and happiness of formative years. ‘Denial of Love’ questions the effectiveness of global unity through inquiring piano and bass phrases, whilst ‘Illusion’ –Tixier’s expression of bearing the disillusionment of people or events that leave us – is positively conveyed through its impelling upward figure. The joyful blues of ‘Home At Last’ releases the pressure valve of touring with homespun bliss, and ‘Flow’ eddies to a jewel-like clarity.
Quaint 1920s Louis Armstrong stride-piano swinger ‘Tight Like This’ (which Tixier’s grandmother enjoyed singing) is a vibrant homage that cleverly refashions the reedy monaural original for angular piano trio; and the percussive pulse of ‘Calling Into Question’ might readily invite a pop vocal. Amongst urgent ‘Blind Jealousy of a Paranoid’ and mercurial ‘Causeless Cowards’ is tucked the limpid romanticism of Jimmy Van Heusen’s classic ‘Darn That Dream’; and there’s a fascinating take on ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (the pianist highlighting Stevie Wonder’s prowess as an improviser, said to play ‘Giant Steps’ in soundchecks).
Tony Tixier currently plays in the bands of Christian Scott, Seamus Blake and Wallace Roney. But his sights are also resolutely set on his own path, his eclectic interests inclining his thoughts that Life of Sensitive Creatures is best not labelled as any one specific genre: “It’s a songbook of emotions, put to music – an invitation to travel with us to some unexpected places – a sensitive letter to life. You can listen, dance, call it what you want – but as a trio, we go beyond. We’re making art – a moving painting – and I’m proud of that”.
Tony Tixier, piano
Karl McComas-Reichl, double bass
Tommy Crane, drums
Recorded at Sear Sound Studios NYC by Chris Allen on April 29 & 30, 2016
Mixed & Mastered by Dave Darlington on June 9, 2016
Produced by Tony Tixier
Executive Producer: Michael Janisch
was born in 1986 in Montreuil, France. At the young age of 6, he started studying classic piano at the conservatory. One year later, he made his first stage appearance. He studied choral, classical harmony and counterpoint, as well as writing and composition. He graduated Honors DFE in Musical Training (12 years) and DFE in Classical Piano with Pascal Gallet (14 years).
In 2009, Tony Tixier produced his first album, Parallel Worlds, which consisted of a septet with bold orchestral writing that defines itself as a laboratory of sounds and climates, perfectly illustrating his clear interest in orchestration and musical research.
In 2012, he signed with SpaceTime Record label and released the album "Dream Pursuit" with is American quartet featuring Justin Brown, Logan Richardson and Burniss Earl Travis. The album Dream Pursuit, is labeled "Revelation" by Jazz Magazine.
In 2012 Tony opened for Herbie Hancock at the Jazz En Tete Festival in Clermont-Ferrand with his twin brother violinist Scott Tixier
In 2013, he founded the chamber ensemble MooN Paradox for which he composed a Concertino for piano and string quintet in seven movements, mixing classical writing with jazz and contemporary music. In addition, he led intense concert activities in France and abroad.
In 2014, recommended by Jason Moran, Tony Tixier and Scott Tixier stared in commissioned work by the Artist Janet Cardiff. They improvised and composed the music for this project that was part of the inaugural program for the Foundation Louis Vuitton Paris (Architect: Frank Gehry).
Now Tony Tixier currently lives in New York but often tours globally. Since living in New York he has played at different art galleries including the Jazz Gallery and Iridium. His new album will be released in a few months.
This album contains no booklet.