'Blue River' Reviews... Steve Barta's Blue River is a lovely collection of introspective compositions. Steve's touch is supported with sensitivity by Bruce Dunlap on guitar, Paul Socolow on bass and Ricky Sebastion on drums - and are really enhanced by Herbie Mann's flutes. This is listening music so settle down, relax and enjoy it. I did! ~ Dr. Billy Taylor 'An impressive example of subtlety is acoustic pianist Steve Barta, whose reflective, often Brazilian-influenced Blue River makes it abundantly clear that pretty doesn't have to mean wimpy.' ~ Jazziz 'Steve's sensitivity shines through 'Blue River' and his penchant for turning emotion to music within the world of Brazilian Jazz is inspiring' ~ Brazilian Music Review 'Barta works a melodic landscape located somewhere between the hills of Windham and the beach at Ipanema. His original compositions are accessible and attractive and his piano solos recall Bill Evans in his economical choice of notes' ~ Jim Newsom AMG Music Guide 'He writes genuine melodies that linger in your mind long after the recording has ended' ~ Neil Rudish 52nd Street Jazz 'Comprised of ten Barta originals, Blue River exists in shades of Bossa Nova. Never does it become a rehash or poor imitation of Jobim. Barta is a careful technician, his care being most manifested in his intricate lace of composition. His songs are well crafted. Barta's performance, as well as that of Mann, is precise and understated, even during the more technical pieces. There is no excess here, only the correct notes are played.' ~ C. Michael Bailey Personal Bio... Pianist Steve Barta is a composer, author, producer and recording artist. Lending his talent to symphonic orchestras, film scores, jazz ensembles, and classically influenced solo piano, his original compositions reflect a great diversity of style. Steve is perhaps best known for fusing Classical, Jazz and Brazilian influences to create a sound that is distinctly BARTA. Steve's orchestral works include: Heritage Suite, A Midwest Dream (solo piano and orchestra) and several pieces for jazz quartet and orchestra. The debut performance of Heritage Suite was performed in the Czech Republic in 1991 with symphonic orchestra. Steve currently has 12 recorded works. After debut album Rossport, Steve teamed up with Jazz great Herbie Mann to create the Brazilian influenced Blue River. These recordings have received wide critical acclaim and radio airplay across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Canada. Steve's well-loved solo piano release, Moments in Movement, includes his symphonic arrangement of A Midwest Dream recorded on tour in Eastern Europe with symphonic orchestra. Each recording of original songs has it's own striking sound yet captures Steve's distinctive style. His 5 successful Christmas recordings reveal his talent in interpreting and arranging classics. All of Steve's recordings and books are available exclusively on the Steve Barta Music label. Steve authored The Source (Hal Leonard Publishing), a multi-instrumental scale/chord dictionary, in 1986 to wide critical acclaim. Now in it's 13th printing, The Source teaches the basic tenets of jazz improvisation by educating the reader about the harmonic possibilities between scales and chords. Used by musicians and educational systems, The Source has become the standard in the music industry. Also published by Hal Leonard is Steve's transcription for piano titled Christmas Around the World. In 1991, Steve joined a distinguished list of concert pianists when he was recognized as a Steinway Artist by the venerable piano maker Steinway & Sons. As a Steinway Artist, Steve is provided with a Steinway grand piano on any concert stage in the world. Steve, a resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, spends most of his time composing. He accepts a limited number of private commissions each year, ranging from solo piano to full symphonic works.