Kent Hewitt

Kent Hewitt: Little Town By the Sea

$17.18 $19.98
Product Type: CD
Artist: Kent Hewitt

Title: Little Town By the Sea
Label: CD Baby

BIO Kent Hewitt Pianist/Composer Kent Hewitt has earned degrees from Boston University and the University of Connecticut, the latter in Music Theory and Composition. He studied piano and theory with Ray Santisi, Charlie Mariano, Hal Galper, Fred Hersch, and Ron Brown. Mr. Hewitt taught at Berklee College of Music, Trinity College, The Hartford Conservatory, Summerkeys in Maine, The Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic as well as jazz clinics for the Hartford Jazz Society. A consummate soloist and accompanist, he has become a mainstay of jazz and popular music in Connecticut and has been musical director of several popular jazz clubs in the state. He recorded TV jingles for Don Elliott Productions and also recorded for Playscape Records with Michael Mussilami, Randy Brecker, Ray Drummond, Claudio Roditi, Ralph Moore, Thomas Chapin, as well as for Janet Marlow and Phyllis Hyman. He has performed in concert with jazz notables Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Jackie McLean, Kenny Burrell, Steve Rossi, Jon Hendricks, among many others. His CD of original compositions called Little Town by the Sea is a tribute to Noank in his hometown of Groton, CT. The CD was sponsored and commissioned by the Noank Historical Society and the Groton Tercentennial Committee. He has collaborated with writer Melanie Greenhouse and composed music for her popular theatrical productions: Point of Land and The Duchess. He has also collaborated with Connecticut Poet Laureate Marilyn Nelson for the prestigious Sunken Gardens poetry festival and recorded a CD of poetry and original music. His recent recording, Time on my Hands, is a jazz trio recording of unique and elegant standards from great American and Brazilian composers Kent was the first pianist to open at the famous Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City. He has been solo house pianist at the noted New York jazz club- Jimmy Ryan's and has toured Europe with trumpeter Laco Deczi. Description: Little Town by the Sea CD Little Town by the Sea is a musical statement which combines a variety of styles- jazz, classical, contemporary- to capture the essence of a maritime village in New England. Here is a tribute to it's quaint streets, shoreline vistas, and to the people who shaped it's character. Reviews: Little Town by the Sea CD Holcomb Noble (2/16/05) Former New York Times Editor "There is a kind of lyrical reflection of mist and sunlight on the shore. There's joy and sadness, a liveliness and peace. Kent Hewitt's music seems to capture the very soul of a lovely New England village by the sea that has provided it's livelihood and at times taken it's lives. The melody lines and the harmonies reach down and capture your soul as well. At various moments you don't know whether to laugh or cry or get up and dance - or all three." New Haven Advocate CD Review Monday June 12, 2006 By Brian G LaRue KENT HEWITT CD REVIEW Little Town by the Sea (12 track CD) If I were a Groton town official who said to Kent Hewitt, I'm commissioning you to record a light-sounding CD about Groton" and Hewitt returned with this 50-minute arc incorporating pop jazz, lounge jazz, new music, bossa nova, Puritan hymns, light swing, spoken word, ragtime and waltz, I'd be pleasantly surprised by his ambition. It's not readily evident that this is a conceptual cycle about a Connecticut city and it's history (only one track- features a vocal), but the score does hang together, with recurring motifs. While it's not physical music-even the ragtime bits are measured and cautious- it's arranged and played with expertise and style. Paeans To Noank In Music And Words By OWEN McNALLY Special to The Courant The Hartford Courant Friday May 20, 2005 Composer Kent Hewitt's passion for the seacoast charm and historic mystique of Noank is so deep-seated that it's probably encoded in his DNA. Hewitt celebrates the all-American, small town qualities of Noank (a picturesque section of Groton) with a suite of musical portraits on his evocative, reverential album called 'Little Town by the Sea-Soundscapes by Kent Hewitt.' For Hewitt, who lives in Noank by the Mystic River and grew up in Groton Heights, a historical part of Groton, the CD's dozen selections represent his reflections on how the maritime village's character has been shaped by it's people, history, topography and umbilical link with the sea. The CD, which portrays Noank as a virtually mythic town that time forgot, has been released in conjunction with Groton's Tercentennial (300th) Celebration that runs through 2005. The Noank Historical Society and the Groton Tercentennial Committee sponsored the recording project that features Hewitt on piano and synthesizer in combo settings featuring his frequent collaborator, the well-known Connecticut saxophonist and flutist, Tim Moran. A democratic melting pot of influences, Hewitt's mini-tone poems on the town's historic legacy, sites and vistas range stylistically over jazz, classical, contemporary, rock, Latin, pop, New Age, funk, hymns and ragtime. His moods are mostly exuberant and always in the American grain, whether he's painting a sonic portrait of a quaint, frozen-in-time soda shop; his beloved hamlet's venerable house of worship, or it's summer festivities and social gatherings at the town dock..His compositions are as true a slice of Americana as cherry pie, or works by Charles Ives, Scott Joplin, Norman Rockwell, Robert Frost, Thornton Wilder, or the American Impressionist painters who tramped over the idyllic Connecticut countryside in pursuit of it's alluring light and atmosphere. Hewitt's homage to his hometown was inspired by two plays written by Noank poet/playwright Melanie Greenhouse. One called 'Point of Land' extols the scenic district's history from colonial times. The second, 'The Duchess of Noank,' is a loving portrait of one of the town's most colorful characters, Mary Virginia Goodman (1897-1988), best known to locals as the Duchess of Noank. In 'Point of Land,' a prose poem play that debuted in 1997, Greenhouse presents a panoramic view of three centuries of Noank history from the time it was the hunting and fishing grounds of the Pequots to the present. Much like a good film score, Hewitt's compositions on the CD, 'Point of Land Prologue' and 'Point of Land Theme' echo the play's idyllic world in which there seems to be a moratorium on time. Capturing the savory flavor and variety of Noank history, Greenhouse orchestrates the voices of some 70 characters who once walked the seaside town's streets, built or sailed it's wooden ships, gossiped, fornicated, worshipped, loved, lived and died. A blend of mostly historic fact and imaginatively fabricated fable and metaphoric levels of meaning, Greenhouse's 'play for voices' does for Noank what the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas did for the small, mythical Welsh seacoast town of Llareggub in his 1953 masterwork, 'Under Milk Wood.'Mary Virginia Goodman, the self-proclaimed Duchess of Noank and, by far, the most flamboyant of all Greenhouse's cast of naughty or nice Noankians, makes only a cameo appearance in 'Point of Land.' (Point of Land is the English translation of the original Native American word that white settlers eventually came to pronounce and spell as Noank.) But the regal, charismatic teacher, historian, local journalist, orator, world traveler, eccentric and avid collector of much older men as husbands, has center stage in 'The Duchess of Noank,' a modern dream play that premiered in 2000. Again, Hewitt complements Greenhouse's written word with his classy sounding theme, 'Waltz of the Duchess,' one of his CD's brightest, catchiest creations. How this crusty, self-confident Nutmeg doyenne becomes the Duchess of Noank while travelling in Scotland, where she sprains her ankle and strains the truth, is an amusing anecdote worthy of Mark Twain in his 'The Innocents Abroad.' Three actors, who simultaneously interact with one another in Greenhouse's play, represent the Duchess at three stages in her life

1.1 Point of Land Prologue
1.2 Point of Land Theme
1.3 View from the Top of Snake Hill
1.4 Carson's Store Rag
1.5 Church Street Jazz Hymn
1.6 Waltz of the Duchess
1.7 Down at the Town Dock
1.8 Mouse Island - Three Part Suite
1.9 Flow Like the River
1.10 Elegy
1.11 Carson's Store Rag II
1.12 Day's End

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