Joe Augustine – Touching You
Portland Produces another Fine Pianist
When you think of Portland, Oregon and Jazz Pianists your first thought is probably ‘Tom Grant’. If so, the City of Roses has a new thought for you…Jazz pianist and “Steinway Artist” Joe Augustine
Joe’s new release, Touching You is a melodic collection of old favorites which ranges from the beautiful pop standard ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ to the Gershwin Classic ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’, with some pretty smooth stops in between. His distinctive style — playing around within the subdivisions of each beat, steering clear of the downbeat — acknowledges that the spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves.
After more than 30 years at the keyboard, Augustine has mastered the art of taking old songs and creating meticulous, distinctive arrangements so that his listeners hear the music in exciting new ways. “I’ve spent my life applying a positive, creative energy to my work so that I can virtually become one with the music,” he says. This enables his listeners to experience the same “oneness” that Augustine himself feels.
“The artist’s craft reveals his character,” Augustine believes. “I try to make my positive energy apparent in everything I play, whether in the studio or live. I love what I do, and I sincerely want others to sense that and to experience and love it as much as I do. That’s what fuels and satisfies me.”
The Augustine sound is somewhere between Oscar Peterson and Dave Grusin with a little Fats Waller stride style tossed in for good measure. Although he also does originals, Augustine primarily reinvents classic pop tunes from virtually every period since the turn of the century.