The recording of the “April in Paris” CD has been a labor of love for pianist Ron Hart and upright bassist Gary Fitzgerald, and the overall effect of the music is joy, happiness and occasionally outright laughter. The style of playing on the album ranges from mainstream to progressive jazz, including six standards and five originals and features dynamic interplay between the grand piano and the upright bass. A uniquely playful jazz treatment of “Hit the Road, Jack” is the featured track on the CD.
The album is currently available at Amazon.com, CDBaby.com and iTunes, as well as most online music stores.
1 April in Paris (Vernon Duke / E.Y. Harburg) 8:34 – The title track has many unexpected moments in this popular standard.
2 Sidney’s Soliloquy (Jimmy Wisner) 6:43 – This hauntingly beautiful song is one of Ron’s favorites. It was recorded in the early 1960’s by singer Mel Torme and again by pianist Teddy Wilson.
3 Night and Day (Cole Porter) 6:38 – This often-recorded standard is given a fresh treatment.
4 Hit the Road, Jack (Percy Mayfield) 3:54 – A completely new jazz rendition of this very popular song which highlights the rhythmic interplay between the bass and piano.
5 From the Heart (Gary Fitzgerald / Ron Hart) 9:47 – A result of allowing the music to play through them led the two musicians on a journey of deep peace and a sense of wonder and discovery.
6 The Sandbox (Gary Fitzgerald / Ron Hart) 4:26 – As the title implies, Gary and Ron put on display their inner kids, replete with buckets and shovels. WARNING: Outright laughter may occur.
7 Blues for Dr. Barcus (Ron Hart) 5:08 – Ron wrote this blues with an unusual time signature for his life-long friend, Bob Barcus.
8 Unshakeable Love (Gary Fitzgerald / Ron Hart) 4:43 – An expression of the longing for and pursuit of unconditional and eternal love.
9 Angel Eyes (Matt Dennis / Earl Brent) 6:05 – A beautiful standard saturated with sweet melancholy.
10 Middle East Solution (Gary Fitzgerald / Ron Hart) 9:37 – The timeless, undisturbed desert – people – the inevitable conflict – a hopeful resolution – the motionless desert.
11 My Romance (Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart) 6:27 – The duo express their romance with this great art form – jazz.
Ron Hart received his BFA in Music Composition from Ohio University and did his post-graduate work at UCLA in Film Scoring during the mid ‘70s. Ron has played with a variety of music artists, beginning at age 19 with Dionne Warwick. His work as a jazz pianist continued with saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Richie Cole, bebop guitarist Bill deArango (Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker), trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison (Count Basie, Ben Webster), bassist Larry Klein (Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Freddie Hubbard), and drummer E.W. Wainwright (McCoy Tyner, Earl “Fatha” Hines). PureBeam Music released in 2008 the popular CD by Ron, “The Light Beyond the Atoms,” a four-movement suite for grand piano with synthesizer orchestration.
Gary Fitzgerald began playing the upright bass while in the Air Force in 1963. He met Ron through jazz guitarist Bill deArango in 1971 and the two young men formed a jazz quartet and worked in clubs in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1972 Gary and Ron played in a trio with jazz drummer E.W. Wainwright and performed college concerts in Los Angeles. Gary later toured Europe with drummer Eddie Moore, violinist Michael White and woodwind player Russel Baba. He has also appeared with alto saxophonist Richie Cole, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and was the bassist in African Roots of Jazz.