I’m trying to give contemporary jazz the hook I feel has been missing much of the time and raise it all to a new level of intensity. Then surround it with full and rich production values.
Carl England, a native of Los Angeles who grew up in Portland, began playing piano at age eight but it wasn’t until he was 15 that the instrument grabbed his imagination. “One day, after a very long hiatus, I completely rediscovered the beauty of the piano,” he recalls. “It filled a very big space in my soul. I knew I had found something special.”
In high school, England was called the “Music Man” by his classmates and quickly garnered a reputation for his ability to play whatever he heard. To further explore his talents, he studied at the Mount Hood College-School of Music, located in what he calls “the jazz capital of the Northwest.” It was here that he began his career as a local and regional performer and concert pianist.
Carl England is now settled back in Portland and ready to make his name as a distinctive contemporary composer and pianist. Armed with a blistering five piece live group and possessing abundant talent, enthusiasm and confidence, it seems clear that his goals will be realized.
Making and listening to music are two of the great joys of life. Those facts are evident in the enjoyment one gets from listening to the music Carl England makes.
Tho field of contemporary instrumental recordings is crowded with weeds. Many of them may have buds that look appealing from a distance, but they obscure the rare flowers that can grow in a musical ground nourished by elements of jazz, pop, folk and electronic styles. Carl England's work is among the true flowers. His care-fully layered, piano-based tracks have their surface appeal_ easygoing melodies and a sonic palette that's unlikely to ruffle the feathers of even the most casual listeners. Yet on closer inspection they offer more than mere background color...
Judging by his demo tape "Debut," Carl England is a talented composer and instrumentalist of the funk-fusion-New Age generation, well worth giving a listen. In a market that's fairly saturated right now, he's done the near impossible - come up with his own keyboard sound, a bright, almost honky tonk piano that cuts through and gives his music a real lift.