Howard Alden brings subtlety, swing, and an astonishing orchestral majesty wherever and whenever he plays. The evidence, anew: a recital in the parlor of the Athenaeum Hotel during the 2012 Jazz at Chautauqua extravaganza. In less than half an hour, Howard created magnificent mini-concertos — each with a theme, and the last one ending with a Surprise.
IF YOU WERE MINE and MISS BROWN TO YOU:
A very tender ISN’T IT A PITY?:
CREPUSCLE WITH NELLIE and a SURPRISE:
P.S. Before Howard began his jazz sorcery, I overheard an illuminating piece of innocently surrealistic dialogue from two patrons seated near the piano; they had heard several solo recitals on that very instrument.
Lady (motioning to Howard): “Who is that?”
Gentleman Companion: “That’s Howard Alden. He’s a guitarist.”
Lady: “Oh, that means he’s not playing piano.”
May your happiness increase.