Let’s start with a VERY young talent, in case you missed the piece on “60 Minutes” last weekend. Joey Alexander is a 12-year old jazz piano prodigy who’s being mentored by no one less than Wynton Marsales. The story goes that Joey taught himself to play listening to his parents’ jazz records in his native Bali. It’s pretty obvious that his brain is wired in a special, special way.
Check out this soulful studio performance of “Over the Rainbow”, a track featured on his 2015 debut album “My Favorite Things”, Grammy-nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. If you’d like to hear him really cook, listen to another track from that album, Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”. The recorded version is nominated for “Best Improvised Jazz Solo”.
Vienna Teng has five studio albums to her credit, a recording career that began in 2002 after this Stanford-educated computer scientist quit her day job. Her most recent album, “Aims” released in 2013, covers a lot of musical ground and reveals many influences. You can listen to and buy the tracks on her website.
Vienna lists Tori Amos as one of her influences, and you can’t help but hear that on “Close to Home”. In case you need a reminder, though, listen to Tori’s performance of her exquisite “Silent All These Years” from 1992.