In May, Lucian Ban, the Romanian-born pianist from New York will once again perform in concert in Cluj. He will play alongside jazz baritone saxophonists Alex Harding, the two artists thus releasing their newest album entitled Dark Blue. The concert will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at 8 pm, at the Studio Hall.
For almost two decades now, Alex Harding has been playing jazz with Lucian Ban, a pianist who moved to New York in the late 1990s. During this time, they founded several ensembles, released numerous albums under their own names, and performed hundreds of concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. Their bands - the Lumination Ensemble, the Lucian Ban & Alex Harding Quintet, the Tuba Project, the Somethin' Holy duet – have achieved both popular and critical acclaim.
As critic Jeff Stockton states “Alex Harding and Lucian Ban have developed a fruitful partnership over the last few years. Harding’s bluesy, church-steeped baritone sax is the logical heir to Hamiet Bluiett’s, while Ban’s tasteful, reflective piano playing combines the elegance and technical precision of the European classical tradition with wide-ranging musical interests and a passion for improvisation.”
Their first joint album, entitled Somethin’ Holy (CIMP Records, 2001), was released almost two decades ago, as the first landmark event of the Romanian pianist’s career in America. DARK BLUE, the latest product of the extraordinary music collaboration between the two musicians offers a unique blend of compositions and improvisations, highlighting trends of 21st century jazz, while drawing inspiration from traditional jazz, blues and European chamber music.
From avant-garde blues to free ballads, which evoke the sounds of Archie Shepp and Sun Ra, from spontaneous improvisations to original pieces, DARK BLUE is an artistically mature work of a duo made up of two artists who communicate with each other perfectly using the language of modern jazz.
On the album cover of the new record, renowned tuba and saxophone player Howard Johnson writes the following concerning the collaboration of the two musicians: “Lucian and Alex have developed their craft for many years through their concerts and collaborations. Hence, now, they can become a single voice whenever they want to, continuing to successfully complement each other artistically.”
Tickets can already be purchased at the theatre’s ticket office, and online at www.biletmaster.ro.