above photos by Nan Melville




I have a few recordings in the works to be released here as they get completed.
I also have a few recordings that are completed that will be available here even sooner!
One such release is a very special recording with Maestro Tarik Banzi that is
here now!!




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Volume 1

ins & outs

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ins & outs

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This is the first recording to come out under the Clazzimprov name. I'm very excited to share this music with you. Here we have a collection of a mixture of tonal and not-so-tonal improvisations, and some composed/written original pieces. More clarification and details in the liner notes below. This album is only available here, and for download

This is the first recording to come out under the Clazzimprov name. I'm very excited to share this music with you. Here we have a collection of a mixture of tonal and not-so-tonal improvisations, and some composed/written original pieces. More clarification and details in the liner notes below. This album is only available here, and for download only at this point. For your technical information, the song files are MP3's at a bit rate of 160kbps VBR set to the highest quality. Liner notes and cover art are included with the album download.

Read more…
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  1. 1
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  2. 2
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  3. 3
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  4. 4
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  5. 5
    0:00/2:22
  6. 6
    0:00/2:47
  7. 7
    0:00/3:24
  8. 8
    0:00/2:01
  9. 9
    0:00/2:35
  10. 10
    0:00/2:10
  11. 11
    0:00/1:50
  12. 12
    0:00/1:57
  13. 13
    0:00/1:44
  14. 14
    0:00/4:57
  15. 15
    0:00/0:38
  16. 16
    0:00/4:37
  17. 17
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  18. 18
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 About this music:

This set of piano recordings is the first music I’ve made since moving to New York City from San Francisco in 2012. Although most of the solo piano recordings I’ve made could fall under the Clazzimprov category, it wasn’t until this was being recorded that I came up with the name, and focused more clearly on what it meant. This and Volume 2, standard deviations, plus some various other piano pieces were all created between September 2012 and February 2013.

My approach to this set of pieces is as it is most of the time I record piano music, mostly daily, at home. I spontaneously improvise with no, or very few rules going in. Then the music makes itself, in a process too difficult to explain here, and one I don’t fully understand anyway.

Simply, “the music making itself” is the process of thinking, listening, playing, and evaluating at the same time. This process takes a lot of concentration, so outside objective observation of one’s self at the same time all of the above is going on is too much for me to do. To make it even more complex, add to the equation - the hands will just play something if you let them go too!

I think I’ve observed this behavior while playing: I get an idea of something to play; I play but it might not be exactly what I thought; I hear that and evaluate what to play next based on where it sounds like it could go from here; then play something else and hear what the whole sounds like and keep doing this while producing a live entity that has meaning and or value. As my mind keeps switching from one task to another in milliseconds, my hands seem to blend it all together. I’ll have to stop this “brief” explanation short as it just gets more complicated as you move inside and develop a piece through to the end.

I didn’t set out to lay down a heavy diatribe about “process” here, but I feel I had to say something because it’s a huge part of the art I make. And once this crunching of info becomes second nature, you play and create, and hear it all at the same time, and forget the world and feel like you’re flying, and a gem of beauty might get created at the same time. I live for that.

I must talk about the non-fully improvised pieces here:

Brasío was written in the early ‘90’s as part of a set of latin tunes. I play the written right hand call and answer lines and make the left hand part up. There’s tremendous variety in this format, and the right hand can be an accompaniment part at times;

Prayer is a piece I wrote in 2010. It has the deepest meaning to me of any other song, period. I will dedicate a page on my web site to it in time, it’s quite a personal story. For now I’ll just say it’s truly my piece of inspiration;

Aria 2 is a piece that I wrote in preparation for the composition class that I still take at Juilliard to help develop my writing skills. It may seem odd, but writing can be very different than improvising in many ways;

Watching Goldberg Air is literally named after the process to create it! I was looking at Bach’s famous piece, the single page of notes while I made something up;

Tango in D Major is similar. The also famous Isaac Albéniz piano piece of the same name is the two pages I was looking at while making my version up.


Volume 2

standard deviations

Joe Heinemann

This, the second volume of Clazzimprov is deviations of, or on, Jazz standard repertoire. Hence the "dev/o" before every title. It's part of a disclaimer - these aren't really versions of standards. Since I've deviated from the melodies, the rhythm, the harmonic structure, form, and so on, the only thing tying your perception to a particular song

This, the second volume of Clazzimprov is deviations of, or on, Jazz standard repertoire. Hence the "dev/o" before every title. It's part of a disclaimer - these aren't really versions of standards. Since I've deviated from the melodies, the rhythm, the harmonic structure, form, and so on, the only thing tying your perception to a particular song is your knowledge of the original, and how close or not I come to that. This is why I think people who know this material might find it the most interesting. Hint - let your preconceptions go! More clarification and details in the liner notes below. This album is only available here, and for download only at this point. For your technical information, the song files are MP3's at a bit rate of 160kbps VBR set to the highest quality. Liner notes and cover art are included with the album download.

Read more…
About this music:

This set of piano recordings is the first music I’ve made since moving to New York City from San Francisco in 2012. Although most of the solo piano recordings I’ve made could fall under the Clazzimprov category, it wasn’t until this was being recorded that I came up with the name, and focused more clearly on what it meant. This and Volume 1, ins & outs, plus some various other piano pieces were all created between September 2012 and February 2013.

My approach to this set of pieces is different than any I’ve ever done. I didn’t even want to play this repertoire really. So much has been done with this by practically every jazz player in history. I had a deeper challenge personally also. I got burned out playing solo piano (mainly standards) by the mid ‘80’s. Except for a few short time periods since, where it was always about making money, I haven’t been able to sit and play these tunes for a half hour without wanting to stop, now! Let me out of here! Okay, I’ve settled down.

I can almost guarantee you have not heard these pieces done like this - I'm proud to have done these standards this way. If you are not familiar with these tunes, it will sound like my other impressionistic, flourish-y improvisations. And yes, these are fully improvised moments - I did not prepare any of these. I could not have done that with this material if I didn't let myself be free with how the song wanted to be released from my hands.

When I left the performing and traveling world in 2002 to teach and work on further developing my musical voice, one of the biggest reasons was to give myself a break from stylizing music for other than my growing artistic vision. Cocktail piano and some repetitive comping were some of the more notable things to purge from my "hand memory", if there is such a thing. I had to not play anything for a long time as to let the mental imprints fade away. Then I started, very slowly to be able to create an even more linear, multi-voiced way of playing. Yeah, I was coming out! This is the reason why so much of my music is slow or contemplative - it’s still developing.

At some point after being in New York a while, and thinking about different ways to approach and play the piano, I got this idea to play a tune I knew really well and let it be as wild as I wanted - just be free and go. It was Ipanema, and I made it the first cut on the album because of the significance of it capturing the new concept fresh, first take! It clicked, I really liked it and I felt I was on to something I could call my own. Most of the rest of the tunes came out within a couple of weeks and that includes Volume 1.

Now, I realize I was taking all the elements of this music pretty far out and that was part of the reason no one I’ve heard has done it quite like this. It’s a larger break from “tradition” than most will risk. Well, one good thing about getting older is hey, I’ve been playing for 50 years now. That’s MY tradition. This is what I want to say and I’ll accept the consequences.

To be fair to myself, I’ve spent my entire career developing this style, mainly on the side. I’ve made huge financial choices to be true to my art. It has arrived, and I’m thrilled to be letting this cat out of the bag!

I would love any or all feedback so feel free to send me a note here.





 
  



 - Piano Compositions & Improvisations -

The songs on this CD are the result of taking the best from my 45 years of learning and professional work at the piano, and making something of my own - going from “music for hire” to “music of desire”. And for me, it all starts with solo piano.

This is the solo record I have been waiting for my entire life as a pianist. I have arrived at a place now where my songs and my "free" playing come together to make this music the most personal statement I've made to date on recording. It is marketed under the New Age genre but I think of it as Neo-Classical Expressionism. Thank you for listening.

Available CD Baby






 
 
- The Holiday Spirit -
 
A suite of solo piano improvisations, weaving hints of holiday favorites with jazz.
A very original and creative way to represent the season.Appropriate for background or intimate listening.
 
Right Now, get Holiday Spirit for free!
(You'll be asked to join my mailing list.
Please do! You'll then be able to have
my holiday album as a 
free download.)





 


- Just Joe -

A very moody, cinematic, eclectic outing.
Jazz piano with surprisingly organic sounding synth grooves and orchestration - touching on exotic corners of the world.
 


- Straight Ahead -

Contemporary straight ahead acoustic jazz.
Lush beautiful ballads to burning up-tempo swinging.
A studio recording with all the energy and spontaneity
of a live performance.
 
Available Soon