LA, California, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Jazz / Experimental / Classical
When Mike Garsons piano solo ripped through the title track of David Bowies 1973 album Aladdin Sane, minds of all stripes were blown. Its passionate pyrotechnics captured attention as thoroughly as any guitar gods miracles would, yet it displayed a mastery of theory that perked up the ears and lowered the turned-up nose of many a classical purist. Its the definitive example of virtuoso piano in a rock context.
Garson has not only continued supporting one of rocks most original and mercurial auteurs in the three decades since Aladdin Sane, but has also been extremely active in composition, solo performance and recording, and music education. To say Garson is proficient in all styles would be a wretched understatement. By age 13, he was studying with Leonard Eisner of Julliard and Lennie Tristano. He has interpreted Gershwin and played with jazz giants such as Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke, and Freddie Hubbard, and lent classical and modernist motifs to the likes of Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, and Smashing Pumpkins. Then there are the other projects, like playing all the piano parts for the 1988 ABC TV biopic Liberace (Garson duplicated the flamboyant pianists chops with uncanny accuracy) and his work with jazz-classical fusion ensemble Free Flight. A glance at the bio and timeline sections of his website, www.mikegarson.com , shows that all this is just the tip of the iceberg.
From Keyboard magazine, January 2004
By Stephen Fortner
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