Ray Jozwiak-Gonzo Piano (solo performer & member of OHO)
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Ray Jozwiak-Gonzo Piano (solo performer & member of OHO)

Towson, Maryland, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF

Towson, Maryland, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2003
Solo Jazz Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
22
Ray Jozwiak-Gonzo Piano (solo performer & member of OHO) @ Brewer's Alley

Frederick, Maryland, United States

Frederick, Maryland, United States

Sep
14
Ray Jozwiak-Gonzo Piano (solo performer & member of OHO) @ Elk Run Vineyards Inc

Mount Airy, Maryland, United States

Mount Airy, Maryland, United States

Aug
18
Ray Jozwiak-Gonzo Piano (solo performer & member of OHO) @ Brewer's Alley

Frederick, Maryland, United States

Frederick, Maryland, United States

Music

Press


"Joe Hartlaub"

PUT A FINGER ON IT by Ray Jozwiak is the third of his releases, a minimalist recording, just Jozwiak and a grand piano with his own compositions: no feedback to hide behind, no hi-fi, lo-fi, whatever. The result is an interesting array of jazz styles spread out over seven tracks.

“Can't Quite,” for whatever reason, puts me in the mind of Philip Glass in spots, while “Honolulu Harry” begins with a riff which, just when you think is going to go on forever, becomes the foundation for some one-handed improvisation that takes the piece to a whole new place. The CD closes with the jaunty “No Regrets” which leaves one with the feeling of watching someone in top hat and tales dancing down the road, waving goodbye. Not a bad feeling that.
Jozwiak has a broad and deep knowledge of music and one can hear little snippets of this and that running throughout his work, just enough to put you in the mind of a long forgotten favorite before he turns it inside out or upside down.

While PUT A FINGER ON IT is not for everyone, there is certainly nothing for anyone to dislike on here, either. A perfect disc for dinner or Sunday morning.
- Music-Reviewer.com


"J-Sin"

Jovial piano-pop that bounces and bounces and bounces some more into the fun-fun land of crazy pianist pop. "Put a Finger On It" by one of Baltimore's truly fine pianist/lounge pop artists Ray Jozwiak is a fun album to hear at your local saloon.
-J-Sin - Smother.Net


"Jim Nash"

From the first keys, the master touch of Ray Jozwiak impresses. "Honolulu Harry" (a very Hoagy Carmichael-like title) demonstrates a T. Monkish blurring of time, a slow syncopation moving in and out of the strictures of standard time. Mr. J. takes not quite "giant steps," and then goes on contrapuntal runs in his exploration of themes and variations.

In "Cowboy Justice," the second tune, his left hand plies the bottom with a softly persistent and pounding rhythm, as his right works melody, scales, runs and figures all over the keyboard. His sense and choice of rhythm is always appropriate and interesting-not something easy to manage in a solo work. He makes something that in other less capable hands could easily become monotonous, creative. The middle of "Glorious Freedom" (that is) opens up some stride walking and more well-chosen phrases and riffs-almost a separate song entirely. Mr. J. never dwells on a string of notes too long, and his internal sense of timing matches his exceptional external expression and judgment. No matter how good the single theme, phrase, or run, he never gets so enamored of it, as many musicians might, that is extends into mediocrity.

I credit his innate artistic intelligence-if not the "multitude of accordion lessons" provided by his late father, Michael, and mentioned in his liner notes. "...Freedom" merges easily and perhaps emblematically into "Can't Quite." A telling sequence of song titles.

This work is miked, engineered and produced with distinction by Jason George of Nice Package. I can close my eyes during a song and see the piano before me, perpendicular to my listening position, the player seated at speaker left and the grand piano open at the center of the sound field. "T-Tango" has a more choral, commercial feel, if you will. There is something about the seductive, relentless, rhythmic intimacy of this eponymous namesake of the enthralling dance. A phrase and feeling here and there reminds me of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia."

My only regret is that the last piece, "No Regrets," is not as original sounding as most of the other pieces. It seems much more derivative in its chorus, if not its melody. Still, the playing is superlative, and its sense of fun is infectious.

In his liner notes, Mr. J. also thanks "my next door neighbors (who hear as much piano as I do)"- a witty appreciation and expression of proximity and gratitude. Ray Jozwiak is a virtuoso. I would love to hear him play some night in dimly-lit cabaret or bar, where the only sound heard is his piano, the only sight is the playing of shadowy fingers in the candlelight across the keys, and the only internal process, besides your breathing, is your imagination reveling in the infinite possibilities and potential of all fine music to free your mind from the moment you are in to timelessness.

-Jim Nash
- MusicMonthly, Baltimore MD


"Jim Nash"

From the first keys, the master touch of Ray Jozwiak impresses. "Honolulu Harry" (a very Hoagy Carmichael-like title) demonstrates a T. Monkish blurring of time, a slow syncopation moving in and out of the strictures of standard time. Mr. J. takes not quite "giant steps," and then goes on contrapuntal runs in his exploration of themes and variations.

In "Cowboy Justice," the second tune, his left hand plies the bottom with a softly persistent and pounding rhythm, as his right works melody, scales, runs and figures all over the keyboard. His sense and choice of rhythm is always appropriate and interesting-not something easy to manage in a solo work. He makes something that in other less capable hands could easily become monotonous, creative. The middle of "Glorious Freedom" (that is) opens up some stride walking and more well-chosen phrases and riffs-almost a separate song entirely. Mr. J. never dwells on a string of notes too long, and his internal sense of timing matches his exceptional external expression and judgment. No matter how good the single theme, phrase, or run, he never gets so enamored of it, as many musicians might, that is extends into mediocrity.

I credit his innate artistic intelligence-if not the "multitude of accordion lessons" provided by his late father, Michael, and mentioned in his liner notes. "...Freedom" merges easily and perhaps emblematically into "Can't Quite." A telling sequence of song titles.

This work is miked, engineered and produced with distinction by Jason George of Nice Package. I can close my eyes during a song and see the piano before me, perpendicular to my listening position, the player seated at speaker left and the grand piano open at the center of the sound field. "T-Tango" has a more choral, commercial feel, if you will. There is something about the seductive, relentless, rhythmic intimacy of this eponymous namesake of the enthralling dance. A phrase and feeling here and there reminds me of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia."

My only regret is that the last piece, "No Regrets," is not as original sounding as most of the other pieces. It seems much more derivative in its chorus, if not its melody. Still, the playing is superlative, and its sense of fun is infectious.

In his liner notes, Mr. J. also thanks "my next door neighbors (who hear as much piano as I do)"- a witty appreciation and expression of proximity and gratitude. Ray Jozwiak is a virtuoso. I would love to hear him play some night in dimly-lit cabaret or bar, where the only sound heard is his piano, the only sight is the playing of shadowy fingers in the candlelight across the keys, and the only internal process, besides your breathing, is your imagination reveling in the infinite possibilities and potential of all fine music to free your mind from the moment you are in to timelessness.

-Jim Nash
- MusicMonthly, Baltimore MD


"The Fevered Brain of Radio Mike"

RAY JOZWIAK describes himself as the Gonzo Pianist (as the RadioMike ID reveals once you listen to the show, and you should), and he is, but this is some fun out of the Ordinary piano work as successive Listens will reveal. And you should Listen Many many times. Hopefully, he’ll take his Piano on the road and Impress a few Gonzo piano fans.
- Radio Mike, Austin TX


"Susan Frances of jazzreview.com"

Free form piano jazz is a model that Baltimore, Maryland’s esthetically jovial pianist Ray Jozwiak is proficient at playing. His piano keys prance gracefully, gallop happily, sprinkle gingerly, and stroll casually on his third CD Put A Finger On It, released by Bosky Dell and Sylvan Glade Records. The dotted notes and emotive strides have vents of peppy dynamics, complex intervals, and glittering showers that engage the listener aurally. Jozwiak’s piano verses interchange between a hard-bop jump to a cabaret jazz strut to a lounge pop coast using polka and waltz-doused rhythms. Anywhere he dabbles along the piano keys, he produces sonic glitz forming impressionistic images. Jozwiak does for piano jazz what Les Paul has done for guitar rock and blues and he does it with springs in his finger.
The jovial “Honolulu Harry” is filled with buoyancy and intricate twists and curls in the piano sequences. The rhythmic repetitive hook played by the left hand is complimented by the tangy, bouncy twists and curls of the alternate right hand set of keys laying out the melody. Jozwiak blends profound tones with melodic movements so his avant garde trysts are catchy and have a jingle-like pump. The hard-bop frames of “Cowboy Justice” stress the high and low points of the piano keys, while the Broadway show tunes lyricism of the piano keys on “Glorious Freedom” burrow classic jazz frills along the cheerful tempo.


The lounge pop style of the piano links on “Can’t Quit” have an extemporaneous quality segueing into the heavy cabaret jazz piano bops on “T-Tango” which brew excitable dynamics. The emotive strides on “Always You” have a joyful tingle and the sprinkling showers of piano notes on “No Regrets” string segments of invigorating steps.
Ray Jozwiak’s album has songs that you never thought you would like until you find yourself moving your body along to them. His songs are simply made by the piano but he takes the keys in places that you never expected they could go. There is an avant garde swagger and melodic esthetics in his music that makes it inventive and graceful and simultaneously raw and edgy. His recent album Put A Finger On It evolved from his debut album Chromatose and his sophomore disc Critic's Choice emanating his signature jubilance. Jozwiak was named Baltimore’s Best Lounge Pianist in 2005 by Baltimore Magazine. He is a regular at Baltimore’s local jazz clubs like 13th Floor Lounge-The Belvedere, The Kiss Café, and Gardel’s Supper Club. Jozwiak’s music has an intimate feel for jazz clubs and cheerfulness in the frolicking piano keys that liken them to cabaret jingles. His music makes audio impressions with inventive piano forms.


Tracks:
Honolulu Harry, Cowboy Justice, Glorious Freedom, Can’t Quit, T-Tango, Always You, No Regrets


Artist's Website: http://www.rayjozwiak.com

Listen : www.cdbaby.com/cd/jozwiak3

Reviewed by: Susan Frances
________________________________________
Copyright© 2007 JazzReview.com®. All Rights Reserved.
- jazzreview.com


"SoupyGato Show (webradio)"

“I dig him, I dig him, I dig him.” - Daniel J. Harris


"IndiePro"

Wearing his jazz influences on his sleeves, Ray Jozwiak has an aurally engaging style, with an amazing talent for composition. Sprinkled among classic jazz runs, pop/rock inserts, and hints of broadway are broken and fractured fingerings that draw the ear in deeper, and keep you anticipating the style change that is inevitably lurking around each corner. - IndiePro


"SoupyGato Show (webradio)"

“I dig him, I dig him, I dig him.” - Daniel J. Harris


"OurStage Pick, August 6, 2007"

Ray Jozwiak
"Always You”
Jazz Channel
Tempering schlocky barroom piano with an affinity for dissonance and improvisational terror tactics, Jozwiak bounces familiar themes off jarring breaks with a Monk-like ferocity and inventiveness, bending the listener’s ear while trying to break his heart.
- CMJ07 www.cmj.com/relay/?p=2878


"OurStage Pick, August 6, 2007"

Ray Jozwiak
"Always You”
Jazz Channel
Tempering schlocky barroom piano with an affinity for dissonance and improvisational terror tactics, Jozwiak bounces familiar themes off jarring breaks with a Monk-like ferocity and inventiveness, bending the listener’s ear while trying to break his heart.
- CMJ07 www.cmj.com/relay/?p=2878


"Can There Really Be?. . ."

Jazz:
Ray Jozwiak - Three Albums
Can there really be such a thing as "gonzo lounge piano?" Sure, when Ray Jozwiak is in the house. Ray is an accomplished small-room entertainer, but don't expect to hear smooth, melodic Barry Manilow. Ray's crisp, staccato arrangements are snappy, not sappy. They're a sure bet with our extreme variety format, and we know you'll like them.
- BeOS Radio http://www.beosradio.com/


"John Lewis"

(review of FOR THE RIDE)
A few years ago, I stumbled across Jozwiak at the Belvedere Hotel, where he had a weekly gig at the bar. But Jozwiak wasn’t your typical lounge pianist. Far from it.
He played with a bold, angular style that certainly distinguished itself in a room where standards and show tunes would seem to be the norm. No wonder he referred to himself as a “gonzo” pianist at the time. A similar spirit pervades this disc, which is comprised mostly of solo pieces. Jozwiak’s playing certainly owes a debt to Thelonious Monk, but the pay-off is an offbeat, idiosyncratic style that makes tunes such as “Joyride” and “Monday” so enjoyable. Just when it sounds like a melody might fracture and its notes might slide away completely, Jozwiak rescues it with a sweeping left hand that holds everything together. And he does that again and again. . .

- Baltimore Magazine, September 2008


"Can There Really Be?. . ."

Jazz:
Ray Jozwiak - Three Albums
Can there really be such a thing as "gonzo lounge piano?" Sure, when Ray Jozwiak is in the house. Ray is an accomplished small-room entertainer, but don't expect to hear smooth, melodic Barry Manilow. Ray's crisp, staccato arrangements are snappy, not sappy. They're a sure bet with our extreme variety format, and we know you'll like them.
- BeOS Radio http://www.beosradio.com/


Discography

CHROMATOSE (2003), CRITIC'S CHOICE (2005), PUT A FINGER ON IT (2006), FOR THE RIDE (2008), ANOTHER SHOT (2011), AMBIENCE & WINE (2012)and BLACK & WHITE THEN BACK (2013), 2014 (April 8, 2014)

Photos

Bio

Creative musician, Baltimore-based Ray Jozwiak offers recordings and performances of eclectic, instrumental solo piano (and piano-based) compositions that have been referred to as 'Fractured Jazz' laced with generous amounts of 'Improvisational Terror Tactics' . In addition to his solo activities, Ray contributes keyboard to the iconic Baltimore mainstay band OHO, with long-time musical collaborators Jay Graboski and Dave Reeve.

Ray has been nominated for two WAMMIE Awards (Jazz Instrumentalist and Best Jazz Recording), named Baltimore Magazine's BEST LOUNGE PIANIST and was a finalist in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest for the composition ALWAYS YOU.

Performances in and around Baltimore include the 13th Floor Lounge-The Belvedere, The Kiss Cafe, Gardel's Supper Club, The Full Moon Saloon, The Baltimore Songwriters Association, Border's Books and Music, GBMC, Tyson's Tavern, Elk Run Vineyard and Brewer's Alley.

Ray's CDs and digital download albums (Chromatose, Critic's Choice, Put A Finger On It, For The Ride, Another Shot, Ambience & Wine,  Black & White Then Back, '2014', Just More Music by Ray Jozwiak and No Frills) are all available for purchase at http://www.cdbaby.com/all/rjozwiak as well as a host of cyber-outlets for download (cdbaby has a list) . Visit the website http://www.rayjozwiak.com and PLEASE SIGN THE GUESTBOOK.

Band Members