Stan Tracey is an outstanding figure in the jazz world. His distinguished career has spanned six decades of flourishing creativity. He has been a highly influential and stimulating musical voice, not only to his peers, but to each successive generation of musicians with whom he has worked.
Stan’s capricious piano playing combines the percussive melody of Thelonious Monk with the robust lyricism of Ellington in a highly idiosyncratic style. A master of harmony, he possesses a potent and compelling improviser’s intellect. Through Stan Tracey’s unflinching commitment and dedication has emerged a very rare artist who has sustained an output of highly exceptional music.
Throughout his career, Stan Tracey has been a prolific composer, writing over twenty commissions and the music for forty of his own albums. His first major work ‘Under Milk Wood’ inspired by Dylan Thomas’ radio play of the same title, is widely recognised as a masterpiece. A number of suites for big bands have followed, as well as works for his octet, sextet, and quartet.
Ignoring the lure of commercialism, Stan remains true to his musical roots, celebrating 30, 40 & 50 years in jazz at concerts in the Queen Elizabeth Hall (his 50th was recorded on Blue Note International in 1993), and also marked his 70th birthday there in 1996. Recently celebrating his 80th birthday in 2006 (and going from strength to strength!), Stan articulates: "Somewhere deep inside the crusty old cynicism is still the bright-eyed lad thinking, ‘Hey this is great!’ "