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Randy Runyon: “Arrival”

(Art of Life AL1026-2)

Digital Downloads | About the Music | Liner Notes | Selected Quotations

Randy Runyon: "Arrival"

Randy Runyon: guitar
Carl Filipiak: guitar
Todd Harrison: drums
Steve Zerlin: acoustic & electric bass

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Recorda Me
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Night Dreamer
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All the Things You Are
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Witch Hunt
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A Child Is Born
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Straight, No Chaser
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Digital Downloads {top}

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About the Music {top}

Art of Life Records is proud to present 17 year-old guitarist Randy Runyon's recording debut. Joining Randy on "Arrival" are guitarist Carl Filipiak, drummer Todd Harrison and bassist Steve Zerlin. The recording features compositions by Miles Davis ("Solar"), Carl Filipiak ("Blues-a-Que"), Joe Henderson ("Recorda Me"), Thad Jones ("A Child Is Born"), Thelonious Monk ("Straight, No Chaser"), Wayne Shorter ("Night Dreamer" & "Witch Hunt") and a guitar duet version of Kern & Hammerstein's "All the Things You Are". All of the tunes were chosen by Randy and reflect the taste of someone way beyond his years. "Arrival" was digitally recorded and mixed by John Grant at Secret Sound Studio in Maryland in 2006. All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit digital technology.

Randy Runyon has performed with drummer Terri Lyne Carrington at the Blue Note and the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, given clinics at the IAJE convention with trumpeter Tiger Okoshi, performed with saxophonist Bob Mintzer and will be performing with trumpeter Randy Brecker in the spring of 2007. Randy is currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and is dual majoring in Performance and Songwriting.

Liner Notes {top}

I first met Randy at Washington Music Center while I was doing a clinic for Fender Guitars. I invited him to come up and play a couple of tunes with me and it was shortly after that he became one of my students. He was 14 years old and little did I know how much dedication and love he would put into music and the guitar.

There was no doubt Randy had talent, but I had no idea that in a few short years he would become one of the best Jazz guitarists I've ever heard at his age. Before he left for college, I wanted to document the moment with a recording of us playing together. I am so glad that I talked to my friend Paul G. Kohler at Art of Life Records and that he was just as enthusiastic about the idea as I was. That's basically the story behind this recording - which we had a great time making!

All of the tunes were chosen by Randy and reflect the taste of someone way beyond his years. Everyone involved in this recording played great and gave 110% - I can't thank Steve Zerlin (bass) and Todd Harrison (drums) enough. I've learned how to ask the best, stay out of the way and let them play.

It's very rare to hear someone that young playing Jazz and I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to be involved with Randy on his first record. I'm really looking forward to going out and playing a few gigs with him this year. I've heard him since this recording and his playing has only gotten better! There is an old Tibetan saying that says, "A teacher has not done his job well if the student does not surpass him?"

This CD is Randy's compliment to me and I thank him very much!

Carl Filipiak - March 2007

Selected Quotations {top}

Randy Runyon Is God: Geezers old enough to remember the '60s well know the graffiti that announced a new star to the world: Clapton is God. Back then, before he grew a paunch and laid it down with Sally, Eric Clapton was the world's undisputed greatest rock guitarist. Pre Jimi Hendrix there was no touching the mad kid with the white boy fro. Seventeen-year-old Randy Runyon is not god yet, but he is surely an archangel.

Currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Runyon plays like an old soul on his self-titled debut as a leader. His song selections are far beyond the usual standards fare including classic and challenging material such as Thad Jones' "A Child Is Born," Joe Henderson's "Recorda Me," Wayne Shorter's "Witch Hunt" and the eternally difficult composition, "All The Things You Are."

Runyon approaches the songs like Kenny Burrell with a Pat Metheny fixation, his dark and stinging notes dancing over the bar lines with a studied logic. Runyon's playing is calm and assured, as if he has nothing to prove. And he focuses on the essence of each melody rather than how fast he can play or the usual guitar pyrotechnics.

Debut albums from supposed prodigies are generally sad affairs resulting in a brief bubble of excitement followed by a long walk in the wilderness. Prepare to welcome Ruynon with honey and rose petals.
Ken Micallef - Better Living Through MP3

Veteran guitarist Carl Filipiak was impressed enough with Randy Runyon, one of his teenaged students, that he arranged to record with him before the young man entered college. With bassist Steve Zerlin and drummer Todd Harrison providing strong rhythmic support, the pupil and his teacher embark on an aggressive journey mapped out by Runyon, tackling a number of well-known compositions written by jazz masters. Runyon teases the listener with a Eastern-like vamp to set up a fluid take of Miles Davis' "Solar," while the guitarists find something new within Joe Henderson's Latin-flavored "Recorda Me." The one standard of the session, "All the Things You Are," is an easygoing swinger that reveals Runyon's potential. The true acid test for any jazz musician is a ballad, and Runyon's funky setting of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" is impressive. The two guitarists engage in a cooking take of Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser" and a roadhouse blues written by Filipiak to wrap the session. This CD should serve as an excellent introduction to Randy Runyon.
Ken Dryden - All Music Guide

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