Heartbeat Ben Winkelman

Album info



Label: OA2 Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Modern Jazz

Artist: Ben Winkelman

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 96 $ 13.20
  • 1Praise05:24
  • 2Fort Tilden05:52
  • 3Chilches07:19
  • 4Wandering05:00
  • 5Isolation06:20
  • 6The Wonky Waltz05:57
  • 7The Plague05:56
  • 8Heartbeat05:23
  • 9Machine05:10
  • Total Runtime52:21

Info for Heartbeat

Pianist Ben Winkelman’s sixth album as a leader, Heartbeat, features jazz heavyweights Gilad Hekselman, Matt Penman and Obed Calvaire, and comprises nine originals, four played by piano trio, five by quartet with guitar. Written mostly in the early months of the Covid pandemic while awaiting the birth of his first child, the album draws inspiration from the anticipation of becoming a father, and the feeling of crisis and isolation at the start of the pandemic in New York. Containing playful, intricate compositions as well as simple, lyrical ones, the album spans a range of moods and stylistic influences, with an emphasis on strong melodic lines, rhythmic exploration and group interplay. Having focused on the piano trio on his previous albums, this one marks a change with the addition of guitar on five tracks.

"I wrote most of these tunes in the first months of the Covid pandemic, that strange and anxious time when New York felt like the epicenter of the apocalypse and we were mostly confined to home, uncertain of the future, unsure even what we should be doing with our time. For me it was also a hopeful and optimistic time as we waited for the arrival of our first child. This set of pieces takes inspiration from the anticipation of fatherhood and the feeling of crisis and isolation at the start of the pandemic.

I changed my writing process during this period. Whereas I usually compose at the piano with pencil and manuscript paper at hand, I instead made demo versions on the computer, which led me to try different sounds. Some pieces took a different direction because of the sound palette I was playing with, and I thought that some of them would come to life more with the addition of guitar, while others would work well as trio tunes. I’ve focused on the piano trio on my previous recordings, and while I still love this format, I felt it would be interesting to try mixing it up." (Ben Winkelman)

"Together, these three tackle thorny thoughts, essay beauty with singular style, and swing hard right down the line..." (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz)

Ben Winkelman, piano, Fender Rhodes
Gilad Hekselman, guitar (tracks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9)
Matt Penman, bass
Obed Calvaire, drums

Recorded by David Stoller at Samurai Hotel, Astoria, NY on May 15 & 16, 2023
Mixed by Chris Allen at Sear Sound, NYC
Mastered by Nate Wood at Kerseboom Mastering, Queens, NY
Produced by Ben Winkelman

Ben Winkelman
is an award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Melbourne, Australia. He is currently living in New York City, where he is active on the jazz, Latin and gospel music scenes.

Since 2005 Ben has released three critically acclaimed albums of his compositions with his trio on the Jazzhead label. Between 2006 and 2010 his trio toured Australia extensively four times and appeared at many of the major national jazz and music festivals. In 2008 his trio toured to Japan and New Caledonia and appeared on Australian national television on ABC TV in 2006 and 2010.

Ben has received an award and a number of grants and award nominations. In 2007 his second trio album "The Spanish Tinge" won the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Release. In 2006 his first trio album "Stomps, Pieces & Variations" was nominated for the Australian Jazz Bell Award for Best Classic Jazz Album. In 2010 his third trio album "Odysseys" was nominated for the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Release. His work has been supported by grants from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria, the Contemporary Music Touring Program, the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, the Australian Cultural Fund and the PPCA. He was a semi-finalist in the 2006 Wangaratta National Jazz Awards and was shortlisted for an APRA Professional Development Award in 2006 and 2009.

Ben's jazz compositions draw on a wide range of influences, including Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, stride piano and early 20th century classical music.

Besides leading and writing for his trio Ben has been very active as a collaborator and sideman, in jazz, and also in other styles such as salsa and Cuban music, Brazilian music, pop, funk, R&B, Argentinean tango and klezmer. He has played and recorded with Julie O'Hara and Ali McGregor and toured with the Black Arm Band, Eddie Perfect, and Spanish singer Diego Guerrero. He played in and arranged for Rumberos (Australia's premier Latin band) for 17 years, and was a member of live electronica group Ping in the late 90s.

Ben studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne with Paul Grabowksy and Mickey Tucker, completing a Bachelor of Music in 1994, and studied classical piano with Linda Kouvaras from 2003-2009. He earned a Master of Music degree at Purchase College (State University of New York) in 2014, where he studied with Kevin Hays.

Ben has taught piano since 1996, and has presented workshops at universities, TAFEs and high schools around Australia, including at Monash University, Griffith University, and University of Tasmania.

This album contains no booklet.

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