Uri Caine: Balancing Jazz, Classical and Electronics

Although Keyboard magazine’s Jon Regen, probably because of the publication, orients some of his questions towards elaborations of gear used and advice to younger players, he does present a succinct overview of pianist Uri Caine’s career. Open to all sorts of influences, the Philadelphia-born Caine recounts how early on he mixed his straight-ahead Jazz playing with saxophonist Bootsy Barnes and drummer Philly Joe Jones with forays into Jazz-Rock Fusion on multiple keyboards with electric bassist Jamaaladeen Tacoma among others, as well as studying notated music at the conservatory and the university level. Since then his initial gigs as a versatile pianist who played with New York downtowners like alto saxophonist John Zorn and trumpeter Dave Douglas took a left turn when he recorded a series of CDs that re-imagined music by so-called classical composer such as Gustav Mahler and Johannes Bach. Caine, who composes string quartets and other non-improvised works, also continues to play acoustic Jazz in bands with the likes of bassist Mark Helias and drummer Clarence Penn, seems to be comfortable in all his musical worlds.