Beyond the Sky
Gramophone January 2008 'Extraordinary...harmonically ravishing...a dazzling two-handed ostinato-based piece (where Oscar Peterson and Sergei Prokofiev break bread)... a most stimulating release that stays fresh after countless rehearings' JED DISTLER All About Jazz--NY 'Shaping up to be the finest solo piano CD of 2007...Once in a great while in the musical incubator of the NYC downtown club scene, a truly musically sophisticated work with broad appeal emerges as if from nowhere. The truth, of course, is that these gems are the result of years of hard work, artistic development and unique musical vision: all these crystallize in the wonderful Beyond the Sky... dazzling technique...His complete mastery of dynamics and transition remind of how that which is left unsaid can be delicately powerful, with achingly beautiful quiet passages deftly contrasted with forte. ELLIOTT SIMON, All About Jazz--NY 8/07 The Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure 'Dancing easily between both (classical and jazz) worlds...machine-gun speed and clarity...dense, rhythmically involving work...unequivocally classical pieces... Mr. Schwimmer draws on the kind of dark harmonies more typical in Frederic Rzewski's concert music than in jazz...crisp, disciplined keyboard technique that thrives best in rhythmically complex and coloristically varied music...' ALLAN KOZINN, The Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure section 3/25/07 'Beyond the Sky is fantastic! In every way--writing, playing and pianistically. Dynamically. Lyrically. I could go on... Congratulation, you're killin', man!'-- MICHAEL BRECKER, Grammy winning jazz saxophonist/composer Time Out New York 'Substantial artistry...a genuinely impressive sense of structure (in his compositions) with a jazz-fueled spontaneity and an ear for instantly memorable melodies in these clever, attractive miniatures...an original, compelling voice...a vivid imagination that recognizes no borders.' STEVE SMITH, Time Out New York 3/22/07 Keyboard 'Legendary keyboard talents...astonishing artistry...amazing pianistic skills, incredible improv abilities, compositional brilliance, and theremin chops. This is exquisitely beautiful music.' ERNIE RIDEOUT, Keyboard 2/07 'Meaningful, intelligent and evocative music--Not to mention great piano playing! ' PAUL SIMON San Diego News 'Brainy and dreamy' CHARLENE BAINBRIDGE 4/07 New York Post 'Mary's Pick of the Week' MARY HUHN 3/07 '(One of) downtown's best piano talents' The New Yorker 'With Schwimmer, more is more' Jazziz 'Theremin Master' The New York Times ------------------ While Rob Schwimmer has worked with some of the preeminent artists of our time (including Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Chaka Khan, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, Bette Midler, Queen Latifah, Arif Mardin, Adam Guettel, T-Bone Walker, etc.) his own music has been elusively hard to come by. While playing with all the aforementioned artists exhibits great versatility, it does little to prepare one for the singular strength of his own personal musical vision. From his Suite, in turns virtuosic, inward-looking, and evocative of another place/time, through the wistful Two Songs Without Words, the mysterious little dances and prismatic distortions of his Four Miniatures, the explorations of tonality, contrapuntal freedom, and conversational interplay of Three Tone Poems, the quiet intimacy of Prelude and Postlude, the passionate theremin/ piano elegy Waltz For Clara and, finally, the lyrical bending and re-casting of four Hallucinations On Popular Songs, revealing himself a master musical storyteller. Don't forget to see the CUSTOMER REVIEWS! ------------- QUOTES Utterly unique...Virtuoso in the extreme...One of a kind...Such great surprises! The structures are so thoughtful and complete...I couldn't wait to hear the next track...The most imaginative version of Stormy Weather I've ever heard...The world deserves to hear you! --LEONID HAMBRO, renowned classical pianist/ piano competition judge Astounding. Extraordinary. Other Worldly (Hence the title?) Those Hands...That Brain!Passion and Intellect in equal measure. Congratulations. All The Things You Are Rocks! -- VERNON REID, guitarist/composer (Living Color) It's brilliant. Holding You In My Arms is gorgeous... ADAM GUETTEL, Best Musical Score Tony 2005 Composer of 'Light In The Piazza' This solo piano exploration by Rob Schwimmer is full of passion and love...his execution and ideas flow with a beautiful sense of freedom that captures you from his first phrase to the last. --JOE LOVANO, acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer Not only is Rob Schwimmer one of my first call piano players, he's also a great artist in his own right. His compositions, technique and interpretation all come together on Beyond The Sky--Some of the best piano playing I've ever heard! --ARIF MARDIN, legendary producer, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Rob Schwimmer uses the piano like a French impressionist painter uses a brush... painting scenery, mood and atmosphere taking me to strange and beautiful places. This music is incredible, very original, takes great chances and I've never heard anything quite like it before--I love it! He is a true artist. --GEOFFREY HOLDER, Tony Award Winning Director, Actor, Choreographer Rob Schwimmer tells compelling stories with his fingers. When they connect with a piano keyboard, the music connects with us, and we hear passions, adventures, love stories, and tall tales, all told in an involving, personal style. --DAVID GARLAND, WNYC New York Public Radio It's absolutely beautiful - beginning to end. I can't thank you enough for sending it to me. The production values, the compositions... The whole 9 yards - just delicious!-- ELLIOTT RANDALL, Steely Dan guitarist 'Reelin' In The Years', etc Really enjoyable and quite impressive... an incredible musician and a fantastic theremin player!-- ELLIOTT SHARP What a sensational album! You play wonderfully, but I am more taken by your music--The album is a great accomplishment.--GEORGE STEEL, Executive Director Miller Theatre, Columbia University I enjoyed it very much! Great compositions and great playing!!! You sound great.--URI CAINE The CD lives in my car player out here in LA. JACK DOUGLAS, producer John Lennon (Double Fantasy), The Who (Who's Next), Miles Davis, Aerosmith, etc. I was really impressed--Great playing and superior sound. You sound wonderful, really. FRED HERSCH, Grammy nominated composer/pianist I listened to your amazing CD tonight. I don't know what to say: I was blown away, really surprised by your references, your past, your ear, your agility, your taste. Thanks for letting me hear it! JONATHAN SHEFFER, conductor, artistic director (Red, An Orchestra/ Eos Orchestra), composer It's Beautiful! Subtle, intriguing music. If Skriabin grew up listening to the best American pop, he would sound something like this. --LIMOR TOMER, Whitney Museum Adjunct Curator of Performing Arts, Music Curator at BAM, Lincoln Center Festival, Symphony Space Rob Schwimmer is an insanely great player --ERNIE RIDEOUT, editor KEYBOARD Stunning BOSTON HERALD Rob is a technical and musical virtuoso...A monster of the piano ATTENCION (Mexico) Master Improvisor WNYC Radio ...grace with power OPTION Brilliant! El Independiente (Mexico) ------------ About ROB SCHWIMMER and About BEYOND THE SKY One of the founders of the legendary Polygrah Lounge, Rob Schwimmer is a composer-pianist and thereminist who has performed and recorded throughout the world. His work has been described as '... a brilliant meld of musical discipline, sensuality, technical acumen, and freedom'--A combination that has made Rob's debut solo piano album Beyond The Sky so highly anticipated. His personal vision of music reflects a unique and probing sensibility combined with his vast experience in many genres with great and fascinating artists. Rob is also one of the few theremin virtuosos in the world, performing as featured theremin soloist for many projects including the upcoming movie by R.W. Goodwin (producer/director/writer of X-Files) Alien Trespass, Matthew Barney's epic movie Cremaster 3, CBS television series Now and Again and A&E's Breakfast With the Arts (as well as giving Sara Fishko a theremin lesson on the nationally broadcast Studio 360 on NPR). Hailed as a 'Theremin master' by The New York Times, he is an original member of the NY Theremin Society and was one of the chosen participants in the historic (and sold out) 10 Piece Theremin Orchestra at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. His previous CD Theremin Noir featured pianist Uri Caine and violinist Mark Feldman. Rob recently premiered his 23 minute work 'Pellucid Dream(s) for Theremin' which was commissioned by The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs for ISSUE Project Room. His compositions have been featured in theater, television series and movies, documentaries and feature films including the 2008 Academy Award nominee 'Freeheld' (composer) and 'Dear Diary' (Dreamworks SKG first Oscar w. Bebe Neuwirth) Academy Award Winner, Best Live Action Short Film 1997 (additional music). He is a founding member of the highly acclaimed Polygraph Lounge music and comedy duo with multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart (Bang On A Can Allstars). Other collaborations include The Zmiros Project (CD) with Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg (The Klezmatics). He was picked to play keyboards, theremin and sing in the elite touring band for Simon and Garfunkel's 'Old Friends' North American and European tours (2003-2004) and appeared in their CD/DVD 'Old Friends: Live On Stage'. He has worked with Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Chaka Khan, Laurie Anderson, Bette Midler, Queen Latifah, Arif Mardin (Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award), Adam Guettel (2005 Tony), T-Bone Walker, Sam Rivers, Marc Shaiman, The Klezmatics (2007 Grammy), Matthew Barney, Ang Lee, Mary Cleere Haran, Maria Schneider (2005 Grammy), Annette Peacock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marshall Brickman (2006 Tony Nominee), Mabou Mines, Geoffrey Holder, John Cale, Steve Buscemi, Theo Bleckmann, John Stubblefield, Burt Bacharach, Edie Brickell, Teo Macero, Hal Willner, Vernon Reid, The Everly Brothers, Ethel, James Emery, Kurt Vonnegut, Anjani Thomas, Odetta, Drepung Loseling Tibetan Monks, Joseph Jarman, Alwin Nikolai/ Murray Louis Dance Company, Henry Jaglom, Talujon Percussion Quartet, Fred Anderson, Marc Ribot, Frank London, C&C Music Factory and Sammy Davis Jr. Rob's appearances as featured soloist with orchestras include The Little Orchestra (Lincoln Center); the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (Yale); and Red, An Orchestra (Cleveland.) He has played venues all over the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd St. Y, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Madison Square Garden, The Blue Note, CBGB's and the Colosseum (Rome) before a crowd of over 600,000. Schwimmer's work can be heard on CBS/Sony, Warner Brothers, Toshiba/ EMI, Def Jam/ Island, Manhattan/Blue Note, Dorian, NHK, Capricorn, Evidence, Knitting Factory, Polystar, Traditional Crossroads, Dreamworks SKG, Universal Pictures, TriStar Pictures, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, CBS, NBC, ABC, Discovery, Lifetime, Noggin, A&E, NPR and Nickelodeon.