|Free for One, featuring Stabinsky on solo piano, available June 10 on Hot Cup Records|
"[Peter] Evans described Ron Stabinsky (piano & prepared piano), the one line-up change to Ghosts, as a 'secret weapon, watch out!' Indeed he seems the perfect pianist for Evans, equally as comfortable in the liminal zone between Jazz and Contemporary Classical music as the leader himself. The interplay between Stabinsky and drummer Jim Black is first rate and a feature throughout."
Mostly Other People Do the Killing pianist Ron Stabinsky's debut recording Free for One is a seamless collection of eight adventurous, genre-hopping solo piano improvisations showcasing the artist's technical virtuosity and unerring musicality. The recording will be released June 10, 2016 on Hot Cup Records, home of MOPDtK.
A 44 1/2-minute program comprising eight contrasting solo piano improvisations recorded on a single day in January 2015, Free for One documents a critical point in the evolution of Stabinsky's improvised solo work which he began in 2002 under the mentorship of Bill Dixon. After more than a decade of experimentation and constant reassessment, Stabinsky entered the studio with no preconceived musical framework, allowing his keen instinct, intuition and past musical experience to converge.
The result is a technically impressive and deeply artistic program of music from which new layers of meaning unfold with each hearing. The simple, looping notes of the ironically-named first track "After It's Over" quickly lead to more complicated, animated patterns that display Stabinsky's pianistic expertise. In tracks like "Viral Inflection," "Gone Song," and "Rapture," he demonstrates the intelligence of his musical ideas and his ability to convey them in stirring ways. From the crystalline, almost danceable trills of "For Reel," to the keyboard mastery in "31," to the improvisational tour de force of "Not Long Now / Long Now" (the record's longest track), and the jazzy feel of "Once, But Again," Free For One is the rare work of a rare pianist, one who cares little for labels and deeply for music, one whose love and command of his instrument shines through in every note.
Stabinsky's passionate interest in the quality of sound recordings and equipment made finding a sensitive, responsive instrument a necessity. Recorded with vacuum tube microphones to 2-inch analog tape on the Hamburg Steinway D at Oktaven Audio in Yonkers, New York by Ryan Streber, with mastering by Seth Foster at Sterling Sound in New York City, Free for One utilizes the best of analog and digital technologies. The uninterrupted performance in the Compact Disc and 96kHz/24-bit download formats closely mirrors the feeling captured by the original analog tape recording.
Pianist Ron Stabinsky first started playing with MOPDtK in 2011 as part of a project at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam commemorating the anniversary of Eric Dolphy and Booker Little's Live at the Five Spot. After collaborating on this and the subsequent Blue project, Stabinsky's presence in the group was solidified. He performs in both the quartet and septet versions of the band and is featured on MOPDtK's three most recent albums Red Hot, Blue, and Mauch Chunk. Stabinsky fits into the aesthetic of the group perfectly, contributing virtuosic solos packed with the irreverence that MOPDtK is known for, as well as musical non-sequiturs, quotations, and references to everything from Philip Glass and Conlon Nancarrow to Billy Joel and earlier MOPDtK material.
In addition to his work with MOPDtK, Stabinsky is an accompanist in virtually every possible context from classical recitals, to community choirs, to improvised music, jazz, pop and everything in between. Since 2013, Stabinsky has been the pianist for the Peter Evans Quintet, appearing on Destination:Void, the group's epic sci-fi adventure of an album based on the Frank Herbert novel of the same name. Stabinsky also performs in projects with the Philadelphia New Music Ensemble Relâche, the Charles Evans Quartet with NEA Jazz Master David Liebman, and his collaboration with Cris Kirkwood, bassist of the Meat Puppets. Stabinsky lives in Plains, PA.