This disciplined and wonderful pianist and bass player brings us another tremendous recording project. This is an eight-piece album where Mr. Funkhouser expresses elegance, feeling and pure deep improvisation in each line, chord and beat. He has a particular way of bringing together the sound of the piano, bass and drums. You can listen how clever, poignant and pure Mr. Funkhouser’s talent for composition and playing is in the theme “House of the Rising Sun”; here the introduction is powerful, sophisticated in musical color and chords, changing subtly to unveil a deep melody that turns into a perfect and soft background for improvisation and interaction among the players.
Funkhouser’s love for music and his discipline to study it is fascinating. Born in Boston, MA, he started playing the piano and bass when he was a little child. With studies in music theory at Cornell University and a masters degree in jazz piano, bass and composition from the New England Conservatory, this American musician has taught in the prestigious Berklee College of Music. In addition, he has explored a wide spectrum of music including classic jazz, Brazilian beat, Afro-Cuban rhythms, folk, African music, Industani Classical music, as well as funk, rock, blues and hiphop. The musicians he has played with are innumerable; Mr. Funkhouser has shared with artists like Luciana Souza, Tierney Sutton, Steve Gadd, Trichy Sankaran, Ran Blake, Herb Pomeroy, Natraj, Laszlo Gardony, Ron Savage, Bob Gulotti, Rick Peckham, Phil Grenadier just to mention a few.
Still is a pure gem that shows a wide range of influences including Indian beats, progressive jazz, funk, Thelonious Monk, Chopin, folk among others. “Little Rootie Tootie” for example, is a mixture of syncopated rhythms, sometimes this theme sounds like Latin jazz, turning softly into a bossanova, mutating into a progressive beat that improvises and plays with the melodic phrases. Still is a cool breeze that moves and flies to where the musical wind of Funkhouser wants to go.
Track Listing: 1. Indigo Montoya’s Great Escape, 2. House of the Rising Sun 3. The Deep, 4. My Romance, 5. Little Rootie Tootie, 6. Leda, 7. Shakedown, 8. Still.
Personnel: John Funkhouser: piano; Greg Loughman: bass; Mike Connors: drums; Phil Sargent: guitar (3, 5, 8); Aubrey Johnson: voice (3, 6).
Label: Jazsyzygy Records | Release date: August 2013