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Liner Notes:

I have been a fan of improvisational music for most of my life but didn’t appreciate the potential of truly high-risk music making until I worked with the Grateful Dead. Approaching a performance with no preconception of what you are about to play gives each note the power to redefine the entire performance – much like the Grateful Dead approached the Drums and Space section of their shows. In this environment the performer must compose, interpret and play the music

 Stories in Black and White     Solo Piano

The title describes my sense of the intimate environment -- friends sitting around telling stories, talking about characters in their lives, shooting the breeze. My living room was the recording studio helping to create this intimacy and familiarity. At times you may hear cars pass by in the distance or a guest coughing; yet, the energy captured is strong and unmistakable. Each piece has it’s own character and direction.

Cowboy Sunset” was written with Tom Constanten in a similar manner, although not at those dinner parties. This solo version is more recent, and is a nod to my newest direction in piano playing.

simultaneously, without a tune or song to fall back on. It is, in a way, performing without a net. When the Grateful Dead ended, I began exploring this style of performance in Dose Hermanos with Tom Constanten and, later, in The Psychedelic Keyboard Trio with both Tom and Vince Welnick. Stories in Black and White is my first solo exploration of this free improvisation on acoustic piano. I had no predetermined idea what melody, harmony or rhythms would emerge, thus, simultaneously creating, performing and recording each piece. Played on the 1916 Steinway grand piano that belonged to my father--the instrument I played as a child and on which I discovered the magic of making music--these recordings capture the energy and excitement of spontaneous composition.

I decided to play/record before an intimate audience, shifting the consciousness of the sessions. Inviting close friends over for a series of dinner parties, I’d first play and record for an hour, we’d enjoy the meal, and then I’d record for another hour or so. Stories in Black and White is a collection of the best material created from a series of these dinner parties over a three-month period.

Using computer technology that allows me to connect my visual artwork to the acoustic piano, I am mapping images to the eighty-eight notes on the piano keyboard. Not only playing sounds, I’m playing visuals, adding a new dimension to my improvisational performance. Visit www.bobbralove.com for the video portion of this recording. Listeners will see where things may be going in the future. Enjoy!

Bob Bralove

To sample audio and purchase:  CD BABY      Bob Bralove - Stories In Black and White     
Stories in Black & White Mastered by
Garage Audio Mastering
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Rememberance of Things Past    See Video from this CD

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