The JOE ALTERMAN Trio
November 5 @ 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm
An event every day that begins at 6:30 pm, repeating until November 6, 2021
TWO CONCERTS NIGHTLY ~ 6:30 PM and 9:00 PM
Atlanta native Joe Alterman expresses a certain upbeat naivete, with a broad smile and bright eyes that make you feel welcome. One would not guess that this is a man hailed by greats; Ramsey Lewis describes his piano playing as ‘a joy to behold’, Les McCann states ‘As a man and musician he is already a giant’. Journalist Nat Hentoff championed three of Alterman’s albums, as well as his writing (Joe wrote liner notes to three Wynton Marsalis/JALC albums, calling one of Joe’s columns “one of the very best pieces on the essence of jazz, the spirit of jazz, that I’ve ever read, and I’m not exaggerating.”
Joe Alterman began at NYU with a BA and Masters in Jazz Piano, followed by performances with Houston Person, Les McCann, Dick Gregory, and Ramsey Lewis. Downbeat describes his sound as ‘ rooted in the blues, and with a touch reminiscent of the great pianists of the 1950s—Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans. It is clear Joe hits all of the necessary points for Jazz critics and fans alike.
But there is more to the story, of course. The twenty-first century has thus far seen yet another transition for this thing called Jazz. In one moment we see the push and pull between tradition and progression, and in another we see Pop and Hip-Hop musicians emulating and sampling. In Joe Alterman we find none of this struggle; the music just sounds good. Our conscious faculties are instantly disabled as we tap our feet, feeling the intent and joy of his playing. An old classic is new when you feel good in the moment.
This fresh and joyful intent is captured on Joe Alterman’s new release The Upside Of Down. Taken from two live shows at Birdland in November 2019 and February 2020, the album reminds us of a not-too-distant time when we gathered and danced. Joined by Nathaniel Schroeder on bass and Marlon Patton on drums, Alterman cruises gently and delightedly through timeless selections from Les McCann, Oscar Peterson, Henry Mancini and more, with some of his compositions in the mix.
The Upside Of Down is set for release on August 13. A special deluxe edition will be unveiled for preorder via Bandcamp on July 16.
“Although much younger than I, Joe Alterman is an inspiration to me! His piano playing, his will to explore and his ability to swing is a joy to behold.”
– Ramsey Lewis
“Joe is tiny, but only in stature. As a man and a musician he is already a giant.
– Les McCann
“Joe Alterman combines outstanding musical technique with infectious enthusiasm for his work. I’ve seen him fill a room with joy as his skill at the keyboard combines seamlessly with his delightful and appealing onstage personality. Young Alterman is one fine, first-class entertainer.”
– Dick Cavett
“All the musicians who are now considered jazz legends played there [Birdland]: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Lester Young, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson and Duke Ellington, among others. Alterman would have been able to hold his own jamming with any of them…Alterman’s continually evolving presence on the jazz scene surely makes people smile and, if the room is right, dance. There’ll be no need for any last rites of jazz.”
– Nat Hentoff
“Joe Alterman is doing his part to keep alive the art of the swinging trio. He is a wonderful pianist whose playing brings smiles and good feelings to his listeners – as he has caused me to experience when I heard his enjoyable album.”
– Monty Alexander
“Joe is, for me, absolutely one of the most musically enjoyable, swingingest Jazz pianists who can be heard playing today.
– Benny Green
“Joe has a great sense of what is most meaningful in the history and tradition of our music, and a real solid musical vision of where he wants to take it.”
– Houston Person
“Pianist Joe Alterman pulls off one of the rarer feats in modern jazz: he swings — hard.”
– Downbeat Magazine
“Festivals from Newport and Monterey to Rio and Nice should try to book Joe while they still can afford him.”
– Marc Myers, JazzWax