This recording is a celebration of music that I love and an instrument that is inseparable from me. The harp is larger than life because that is how I designed the electroacoustic harp. And, Eric Middleton sets a rhythmic foundation unique to each piece and to the sound we create together.
Susan Mazer is one of the pioneers of jazz harp and the use of technology in bringing the harp into the 21st century. George Benson describes Susan as the 'Charlie Parker' of the harp. Her classical studies, including two degrees in music, have long merged with the language and rhythms of jazz to bring a new sound from an instrument not associated with this genre. Her music has been featured on NPR, Nova, and the Discovery Channel. One of Mazer's most important musical influences was her time spent performing with noted jazz pianist and composer Ahmad Jamal in 1984-85. The album's title track, 'Amethyst,' is an Ahmad Jamal composition dating from that period. Amethyst was composed by Jamal with Mazer in mind. Mazer honors Jamal with her composition, 'Ahmad.' Jamal's influence on this album is also felt in Mazer's performance of the Bill Evans composition, 'Letter to Evan'. A premier is her performance of 'Mariposa Negra' (The Black Butterfly) by Swedish composer Thomas Frykberg. In addition to the aforementioned Ahmad, the album includes two additional original compositions by Mazer, her 'Lazy Afternoon' and 'Lullaby for My Father.'
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