The Rick Germanson Experience
Gig Seeker Pro

The Rick Germanson Experience

Manhattan, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | INDIE | AFM

Manhattan, New York, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1996
Band Jazz Traditional




"Rick Germanson - Heights"

If the past is prologue, then the future is unlimited for Rick Germanson. After planting solid classical roots and woodshedding in strictly jazz literature, the Milwaukee native made all the proper moves, switching from the Big Cheese to the Big Apple. That was six years ago, during which he played and recorded with all the right people. Now, at 30, his chops are ready for his CD debut as leader: Heights (Fresh Sound New Talent). He’s blessed by tons of technique, taste and clarity of right-hand runs, an appreciation for complex rhythms and a love for Latin. (Check all those blessings out on Miles Davis’ “Tune Up.”) He can handle supersonic speeds (“Lover”); write a love poem in 3/4 to his wife, a classical violinist, with “Susan’s Waltz”; cleverly disguise “I’ll Remember April” as “April Mambo”; and show writing chops as well as montuno moments during his “Game Theory” with the help of very supportive friends: trumpeter Brian Lynch, bassist John Webber, drummer George Fludas and percussionist Luis Diaz. - JazzTimes

"Off The Cuff - Rick Germanson"

With so many mainstream piano trios flooding the market, it's increasingly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's easier when, in the instance of a Brad Mehldau, John Taylor or Enrico Pieranunzi, the artist's voice is so distinctive and approach so readily identifiable that there can be little doubt of its relevance. It becomes a greater challenge with pianists working this space who combine original composition with the Great American Songbook and, occasionally, more contemporary popular sources. Still, there are pianists who, in their unassuming honesty, feel and touch, rise above the crowded arena. Like Lenore Raphael, who brings elegance and charm to everything she touches, Milwaukee native/New York resident Rick Germanson is a straight-ahead player who may not move the music forward in great leaps, but plays without presumption, approaching everything he touches with heart, soul and improvisational élan.

Off the Cuff features Germanson's new trio, with Gerald Cannon back from You Tell Me (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005) and Louis Hayes replacing the more outgoing Ralph Peterson. Hayes' more delicate approach may contribute to Off the Cuff's more graceful experience, but the trio can when it wants to, as it does with aplomb on the short but sweet Arlen/Mercer classic, "The Dream's On Me." The veteran Hayes who, over the course of 40 years, has played with legends including Horace Silver, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Woody Shaw and McCoy Tyner, approaches the music with a largely light touch, although he hits hard on his equally brief and impressive solo over the ending ostinato of "The Dream's On Me," a clear album highlight along with his intro to Germanson's fiery "Brick."

Cannon's a younger player with a less extensive pedigree, but with work ranging from Roy Hargrove and Peterson to Sherman Irby and Steve Turre, it's clear that he's a capable player who can (and does) work hand-in-glove with Hayes as a strong rhythm partner, while delivering his own share of strong and confident solo work on tunes including Germanson's ambling "Daytona," where the pianist's riff-based intro leads into a comfortable swing to provide the bassist all the freedom he needs. There may be clear delineation of solos on the disc, but when Cannon and Hayes enter on Germanson's challengingly fervent "Jill's Song," it's clearly an egalitarian unit with strong ties to the Bill Evans school.

Germanson, whose history includes work with Pat Martino, Eddie Henderson and Tom Harrell, may fit firmly in the mainstream, but his harmonic sophistication places him a little more left-of-center than many. His solo piano feature, "The Way of Water," combines abstract impressionism and brief moments of more vibrant expressionism, while he exercises just the right combination of reverence and flexibility on Vernon Duke's enduring ballad, "Autumn in New York," stretching it out to become the disc's longest track without ever overstaying his welcome.

Germanson may not rattle any revolutionary cages with Off the Cuff but it's a compelling set, played with heart and honesty, that demonstrates why mainstream jazz and the music at its foundation continues to possess popular appeal.

Track Listing: Quagmire; Jill's Song; Daytona; Up Jumped Spring; The Time the Dream's on Me; Wives and Lovers; The Way of Water; Autumn in New York; Brick; Any Thoughts?

Personnel: Rick Germanson: piano; Gerald Cannon: bass; Louis Hayes: drums. - All About Jazz - John Kelman

"Rick Germanson - Trio"

"YOU TELL ME, signifies that for Rick Germanson...a connoisseur of mainstream piano styles, the tradition is no ball and chain..." - DownBeat Review


Here are just a few...

  • Rick Germanson Trio: Turquoise Twice
  • Rick Germanson Quartet: Live at Smalls
  • Rick Germanson Trio: Off the Cuff

Click Here For The Entire List!



RICK GERMANSON has been a highly in-demand pianist on
the New York City Jazz scene for well over a decade. A native of
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rick relocated to New York City in 1998. Rick won
the GRAND PRIZE at The American Pianists' Association Jazz Piano
Competition in 1996. He was awarded "Best of New Talent" in 2004 by All About Jazz NYC.

Rick has five recordings out as a leader: The first two are on Fresh
Sound New Talent: "HEIGHTS" and "YOU TELL ME". His recording "OFF THE
CUFF" on Owl Studios reached #15 on the Jazz Radio Play Charts. On SmallsLive - "RICK GERMANSON: LIVE AT SMALL'S" has been high on the most requested by fans list. Downbeat and
JazzTimes magazines have given Rick's recordings rave reviews. Rick has
also been documented on over forty recordings as a sideman with many of
the top musicians in jazz today.  His latest recording as a leader is on WJ3 records and is titled "TURQUOISE TWICE"  Since 2001 to the present, Rick has been touring and recording with The
Cannonball Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes. From 2003-2008 Rick also
toured with master guitarist Pat Martino. Currently, Rick is also the
pianist for guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Kyle Eastwood, trombonist
Papo Vazquez's Mighty Pirates Troubadours among many others.

Rick has performed throughout the world, at the top festivals, concert
halls and clubs with the following jazz artists: Elvin Jones' Jazz
Machine; Louis Hayes; Jimmy Cobb; Willie Jones III; Grady Tate; Pat Martino; Russell
Malone; Dr. Eddie Henderson; Tom Harrell; Brian Lynch; Jeremy Pelt; Jim
Rotondi; Duane Eubanks; Curtis Fuller; Slide Hampton; Papo Vazquez;
Frank Lacy; Steve Davis; Delfeayo Marsalis; Cecil Payne; Charles Davis;
Frank Morgan; Charles MacPherson; Donald Harrison; Vincent Herring;
Sherman Irby; George Coleman; Javon Jackson; Eric Alexander; Craig
Handy; Wayne Escoffrey; Steve Nelson; Marlena Shaw; Kevin Mohagany;
Carolyn Leonhart; Regina Carter; Gerald Cannon; Jay Leonhart; Mingus
Dynasty; Ray Mantilla and Space Station.

Rick is also an experienced educator, having given clinics and master
classes at such institutes as New York University; The Julliard School;
Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is currently on faculty at The Jackie McLean
Institute at The Hartt School of Music at The University of Hartford.