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Culpo Solo at the Pavillon

by Christopher Culpo

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As I have continued along several musical paths over the years – composing chamber and orchestral music, composing for and performing in various jazz and modern jazz groups, and performing in free improvisation contexts, I have maintained a solo piano “project”. My preferred format for a solo concert over the past 20 years has been a suite; an uninterrupted set of compositions, a mix of standards and my own compositions. I was first drawn to the format after listening to a solo concert by Randy Weston in Paris where he performed the compositions in sets of 3. I was impressed by how captivating the weaving in and out of the songs was, and by how free one could be with the transitions. I was swept along through each set of 3 pieces but at the end of the set I repeatedly felt a letdown; I wanted the musical spell to continue. So I began to perform concerts where I try to not let the spell end until the end.

As the tradition of the piano, jazz or otherwise, is vast, for any musician who takes on a solo concert many stylistic choices can be made. From single line passages, to stride, to two full hands of notes, from a solo voice to an orchestra, from harmonic simplicity to clusters, it is all in front of the musician.

I hope you will enjoy my choices.

This recording is from one of the few concerts I have been able to give since the arrival of Covid19, performed October 24 at the Pavillon d’Artois in Vaux-sur-Seine.

I have uploaded the concert as a single track. Below is the program with approximate timings.

0:00-3:24 Up Jumped Spring (Freddie Hubbard)
3:24-7:00 Stella by Starlight (Victor Young)
7:00- 9:44 It Could Happen to You (Jimmy Van Heusen)
9:44-13:00 I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (Richard Rodgers)
13:00-18:20 Prelude to a Kiss (Duke Ellington)
18:20 22:30 Rose Moon (Christopher Culpo)
22:30-25:30 I’ll Remember April (Gene de Paul)
25:30-29:30 In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (David Mann)
29:30-32:35 Willow Weep for Me (Ann Ronell)
32:35-37:03 In Love In Vain (Jerome Kern)
37:03-38:00 Coda -Up Jumped Spring

Many thanks to Pierre and Marie-Alyette Fournel for the invitation to perform, and to my very helpful friends John Meyers and Eric Ferrand N’Kaoua for mixing advice.


released February 3, 2022

Cover Art by Anne Graaff from Cross Angels.


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Christopher Culpo Paris, France

Christopher Culpo is a performer/ composer who’s work lies at the confluence of contemporary music, jazz, and improvisation. He's written symphonic, opera, for dance and theatre,and has composed and improvised music for silent films.Recent releases include Thawing Mammoth with clarinetist-saxophonist Achille Succi, The Spectral Life of Things and Mimesis (2020) with saxophonist Catherine Sikora. ... more

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