Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Give Gifts That Keep On Giving

Noah Baerman, composer-author-educator-pianist, has just issued his first solo CD.  "Turtle Steps" (Lemel Records) is yet another small miracle in the life of the Middletown-based artist. You may recall Baerman has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (read about EDS here) and, some years ago, there was the great possibility that, as he grew older, he would never play piano again.  Thankfully, that is not the case and this CD, recorded at the Hartt School of Music in July of this year, is proof-positive that he continues to mature as a performer and composer.

The 15 tracks, all dedicated to either a mentor, friend or family member, range from gospel to blues to boogie-woogie to jazz to a sparkling rendition of Frederic Chopin's "Minute Waltz", with originals intermingled with standards and traditional tunes.  Included in the program is Baerman's "Since The Blues Walked In" (dedicated to pianist-educator Kenny Barron), arguably the finest piece he has ever composed. Pair that with "Tiger Rag" (one of the first "jass" songs ever published) - the performance is utterly dazzling, displaying a technical prowess that makes one sit up and say "wow!"

There is so much to savor on "Turtle Steps". This is an album to give to a friend who loves music and give one to yourself.  We are blessed in the Middletown area with musicians such as Rani Arbo and Scott Kessel, Bill Carbone, David Davis, Carolyn Halsted, Professor Neely Bruce, Professor Anthony Braxton, Seb Giacco, and so many others.  Like the people listed above, Noah Baerman's music brings such joy in this and all seasons of the year.  To find out more, go to www.noahjazz.com

Besides the musical treasures that one can find in Middletown, this city, incorporated in 1650, has quite a number of fascinating stories in its history.  If you have never visited the General Mansfield House, home of the Middlesex County Historical Society, you should go spend some time meandering through the building at 151 Main Street.  In fact, a thoughtful gift for the Holiday season would be a Family Membership - it's not expensive ($35.) and you will receive the newsletter, invitations to various talks and exhibitions and your support will help the Society continue to grow.  (Writer's note - I am Program Chair of the MCHS and have often wondered why more Middletownians (?)...Middletownites (?).. don't take advantage of what the organization has to offer)  To find out more, go to www.middlesexhistory.org

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Senior Center staff said...

Thanks for the reporting Richard. Also, this note to anyone over 59 - Noah Baerman is appearing at the Middletown Senior Center located at 150 William St. on Wednesday, Dec. 21 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Noah is the featured performer during the Senior Center's quarterly Seasonal Celebration. The event is free and if you call before 4 today, you can reserve a special holiday lunch (suggested donation $2) provided by CRT. Or, just stop in to enjoy the music. Sorry, this event is rated S, under 60 not permitted. And, it's just around the corner from the oft-overlooked gem, the Middlesex County Historical Society headquarters!