Red Shirt Theme & Variations
This second CD of David Picton's, released in the same year (2002) as his first, leans more in a jazz/classical direction, or what is known as 'Third Stream'. It features Mr. Picton's own original composition, 'Red Shirt Theme And Variations', which makes up most of the CD. We are greeted with a light, straight ahead jazz opener, called 'Trade 6', which serves as a kind of prelude to the composition.It is itself a variant of another of Mr. Picton's tunes called 'Trade 3', which appears later in the CD. As a conclusion, we go out with a couple of well-known classic jazz standards by John Coltrane, and Miles Davis, and they are played with respect to the styles in which they were originally recorded. The musicians on this CD are all top notch, and each of them have extensive backrounds in jazz. The pianists Miki Hayama and Toru Dodo are both enjoying much success both here in America as well as in their native Japan.Tenor saxaphonist Zane Massey and guitarist Yoshiki Miura tour various parts of the world regularly with other groups they play in.The countless successful and enjoyable gigs Mr. Picton has played with all the musicians on this CD, have contributed to his careful decision to select each and every one of them for this project.The rest of them are: Bob Curtis-alto sax, clarinet, flute; Jacob Garchik-trombone; Dimitri Kolesnik-bass; Wei-Sheng Lin-bass; Terry Newman-bass; and,of course, David Picton on drums and hand percussion. Mr. Picton's influences for this CD range from jazz artists like Jackie McLean and Don Byron, to classical composers like Darius Milhaud and Kurt Weill. There are also the Third Stream artists such as John Lewis, Gunther Schuller,and Dave Brubeck, who have been a big inspiration and influence as well. Also some of the west coast jazz artists like Art Pepper, have inspired Mr. Picton, particularly for their ensemble concepts. There is a touch of Afro Cuban sprinkled here and there,and in one variation, one might even be reminded, just a bit, of Klezmer music. The actual 'Red Shirt' theme may bring to mind Thelonious Monk, for some listeners, with it's pointed dissonances. All in all, you might say the CD has a slight touch of surrealism to it. But there's also something mellow and fun about it. And as far as what the title's all about? Well, Mr. Picton prefers to keep that a mystery.It's open for interpretation. David Picton's backround is extensive in both jazz and classical music. He has a bachelor's degree in music composition from Mannes College of Music,where he also minored in classical piano. In the 70's Mr. Picton studied drums with Joe Morrello, the original drummer in the Dave Brubeck quartet. Mr. Picton has performed on drums with such well known musicians as John Hicks, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Bob Mover, John Pisano, Bobby Forrester, Warren Chaisson, Mark Elf, and many others.He also performs professionally as a jazz pianist.