Pianist and Composer
Alan Simon is known in the jazz world as a "musician's musician"; a skilled,
inventive player with an impressive command of both the traditional and modern
Alan Simon first attracted national attention during his years with the
Lionel Hampton Orchestra. He recorded and toured extensively with the band,
eventually playing all the major
jazz festivals in Europe, South America, and the United States. Alan's appearances
with Hampton included a date at the Vienna Opera House, and a concert at
Carnegie Hall, where
Hampton's quartet was backed by a symphony orchestra.
During his stint with Hamp, Alan was singled out frequently for praise by
the critics. Said a typical review in the Jazz Journal International, covering
an appearance at the Grande Parade du
Jazz in Nice, France, "Hamp's pianist played lovely, swinging and at times, quite majestic piano
and seemed quite undaunted by the varying stylistic requirements of Hamp's repertoire." Or from
The Omaha World Herald, "Hampton handed over the spotlight to pianist Alan Simon, who
demonstrated that he is no mere sideman. Simon produced one of the hottest, most intricate solos
of the evening."
Alan has shared the stage with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie and Buddy Tate.
He has also backed up Slide Hampton, Frank Foster, Slam Stewart, George Coleman,
Toots Thieleman, Anita
O'Day, Panama Francis, Mel Lewis, Major Holley, Howard McGhee, Lee Konitz,
and Al Grey.
Alan Simon received rave reviews for his first recording under
his own name: Rainsplash, a
Cadence Jazz Records release. "Simon is a wonderful and consummate piano man," said the
Chicago Observer, "...a no-nonsense hard bop blowing date and all parties involved are at their
swingin'est." In Jazztimes, Stanley Dance wrote, "His solos swing relatively loosely...a thoroughly
professional date by men of whom more is sure to be heard." And from Coda magazine: "This fine
working band creates intelligent, inventive, lyrical music."
His other albums include The Present - a collection
of original compositions, contributions from band members and timeless jazz
classics - and Without A Song, recorded live at Music Mountain in Falls Village,
Connecticut, about which New York Times writer Claiborne Ray writes that
Alan "shows his Tyneresque ability to play percussively without bashing
In the mid-1980s, the Alan Simon trio traveled to Chile on a tour sponsored
by the American Embassy. The group performed and taught workshops throughout
the country, and
appeared on a special TV documentary about jazz in Chile.
As a youth growing up in New York City, Alan studied both classical and
jazz piano intensively. He graduated with honors from the City University
York, earning a Bachelor
of Arts in music. Now residing with his wife and business partner Pamela in the Berkshires, Alan continues to compose, perform, teach, and record. He is a member of the faculty
of the Westport School of Music in Connecticut, as well as an Associate Faculty
member at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. Alan has
been awarded a 1995-1996 Individual Artists' Fellowship Grant
the New York Foundation for the
So listen to the jazz pianist whose playing The New York Times has described
energetic, and fraught with periodic surprises... Mr. Simon holds it all together,
weaving and soloing with sensitivity and taste."