May 21, 2024

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CD review: Edward Simon – 25 Years 2020: Video, CD cover

In 2020, Edward Simon celebrates his illustrious three-decade career in music. During this time span, the Venezuela-born pianist and composer has led or co-led award-winning ensembles and collaborated with some of today’s most prominent jazz artists, including vocalists Luciana Souza and Gretchen Parlato; Afinidad, the long-running virtuoso quartet featuring David Binney, Scott Colley, and Brian Blade; the acclaimed chamber ensemble Imani Winds; and the all-star SFJAZZ Collective.

To observe this milestone, Ridgeway Records will release a compilation album comprising Simon’s personal selections from his distinguished discography from 1995 to the present. Titled 25 Years, the limited-edition 2-CD set includes compelling selections from his acclaimed and influential early recordings, including the quartet album Edward Simon, with Mark Turner, Adam Cruz and Larry Grenadier, a 1995 New York Times Top Ten Album selection, and the cutting-edge, Latin-infused La Bikina, from 1998. Of more recent vintage are the chamber-esque Venezuelan Suite, on which Simon blends the tuneful, buoyant sounds of his native country with the harmonically sophisticated vocabulary and forward-looking attitude of jazz, and the NAACP Image Awards-winning trio date Latin American Songbook. Also represented is Simon’s collaborative work with saxophonist David Binney on the albums Afinidad and Océanos; his all-star trio work with bass icon John Patitucci and drummers Brian Blade or Eric Harland; and Simon’s most recent collaborative project, Steel House, in which the pianist, Blade and bassist Scott Colley blend acoustic jazz improvisation with electronic-tinged atmospherics for an inviting, song-oriented sound. In short, 25 Years is a unique way to experience and enjoy Simon’s music — a must-have for his fans and the perfect introduction for those not yet familiar with his elegant playing and unique compositional sensibility.


1. Ericka (6:52)
2. Alma Llanera (Pt. 2) (5:58)
3. Govinda (5:12)
4. Fiestas (5:25)
5. Simplicity (5:10)
6. Pathless Path (15:39)
7. Pere (6:46)
8. Impossible Question (9:12)


1. What If’ (7:19)
2. Aguantando (9:08)
3. Caballo Viejo (7:09)
4. Barinas (9:09)
5. Uninvited Thoughts (7:52)
6. Navigator (5:40)
7. Gracias A La Vida (7:30)
8. Venezuela Unida (9:29)
9. Triumphs (5:44)


Edward Simon: piano; keyboards; Mark Turner: tenor saxophone (CD1: 1, 2. CD2: 3); Ben Street: bass: (CD1: 1); David Binney: alto saxophone ( CD 1: 1, 3, 7, 8. CD2: 2, 5, 9); Brian Blade: drums (CD1: 3, 6, 7, 8); Adam Cruz: drums (CD1: 1,2, 4, 5, 7. CD2: 3, 4, 7); Larry Grenadier: CD2: bass (CD1: 2. CD2: 3); Adam Rogers: guitar (CD1: 3, 8. CD2: 2, 9); John Ellis: bass clarinet (CD2: 4) Luciana Sousa: vocals (CD1: 3, 8); Avishai Cohen: bass (CD1: 4, 5); Pernell Saturnino: percussion (CD1: 4); John Patitucci: bass (CD1: 6); Shane Endsley: trumpet (CD1: 8); Jesse Newman: trombone (CD1: 8); Alan Ferber: trombone (CD1: 8); Genevieve Artadi: vocals (CD2: 1); Marco Granados: flute (CD2: 4) ; Roberto Koch: bass (CD2: 4); Jorge Glem: cuatro (CD2: 4); Edmar Casteneda: harp (CD2: 4); Leonardo Granados: maracas (CD2: 4); Valery Coleman: flute (CD2: 5); Toyin Spellman-Diaz: oboe (CD2: 5); Mark Dover: clarinet (CD2: 5); Monica Ellis: bassoon (CD2: 5); Jeff Scott: French horn (CD2: 5); Luis Quintero: percussion (CD2: 5); Joe Martin: bass (CD2: 7); Miguel Zenon: alto saxophone (CD2 8); David Sanchez: tenor saxophone, percussion (CD2: 8); Sean Jones: trumpet (CD2: 8); Robin Eubanks: trombone (CD2: 8); Matt Penman: bass (CD2: 8); Obed Calvaire: drums (CD2: 8); Warren Wolf: vibraphone (CD2: 8); Gretchen Parleto: vocals (CD2: 9).

Simon, Edward - 25 Years - Music

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