At the source of life, and only there, one finds peace,
harmony, and the undisturbed contentment of bliss"
- Deepak Chopra
Here is an attempted list of my more poignant influences, also some favorites, in quasi-chronological order:
Stan Kenton Maynard Ferguson Oscar Peterson Wes Montgomery Bill Evans The Hi-Los The Singers Unlimited Ella Fitzgerald Nancy Wilson Frank Sinatra Tony Bennett Ramsey Lewis Brian Auger Jimmy Smith Quincy Jones James Taylor Joni Mitchell Kenny Rankin Micheal Franks The Beach Boys Ray Charles Aretha Franklin Stevie Wonder Jethro Tull The Who Led Zepplin REO Speedwagon Boston Kansas Eric Clapton BB King Earth Wind & Fire Rickie Lee Jones Blood, Sweat & Tears Rufus/Chaka Khan Steeley Dan Herbie Hancock John Coltrane Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter Chick Corea Return to Forever John McGlaughlin The Brecker Brothers Pat Matheny/Lyle Mays Keith Jarrett Eberhard Weber/Various ECM Artists Gino Vanelli David Foster Jay Graydon Lee Ritneour Toto Chicago Steve Gadd, Richard Tee Anthony Jackson Suzaane Vega Bill Whelan/Riverdance Enya Brian Eno Deep Forest Adiemus Julie Fowlis The Weepies
|JUST RELEASED SEPT 2011
NEW JAY OLIVER VIDEO!
RARE LIVE PERFORMANCE
JAY OLIVER SOLO PIANO CONCERT
Saturday, Oct 1, in Santa Cruz, CA
MUSIC AS MEDICINE
At the Unity Temple of Santa Cruz - 7:30pm
Hey from Jay:
Hey everyone. Jay Oliver here. You may be happy to know that I've (finally) come out from the laboratory, and have embraced my deepest expression as a solo artist. more >>
NEW - Inspirations Page - now up:
An extensive list of influences. more>>
Music surely carries power beyond that of what we can measure or quantify. In that light, it doesn't have to be sophisticated music.... more>>
A call to producers, investors and
Project launch: A Live show that is rare,
refreshing, healing, and contageous. more >>
Coming Soon ...
For me, my source of life is music. Like it or not, music consumes me, every moment of every day. It just comes. Whether I’m walking through a forest, or driving in a car, or sitting at a cafe, or cooking dinner, music is forever present.
I am someone that has spent my life enjoying music from all sources, genres and cultures. As long as it was authentic, and spawned from a place of truth, I would listen and usually enjoy it.
My mother was a prolific vocal arranger and coach for a music style called “barbershop”. Both my parents were obsessive jazz lovers, specifically big band and vocal jazz. Musical > harmony was my first lanaguage - long before I learned to speak English.
Around the same time, I started learning to improvise, and my strongest influence at the time was Ramsey Lewis (The In Crowd), which planted a seed of gospel/blues in me that continues to be a major component in my playing today. Add to that a strong influence from Brian Auger, a blues organist and rhodes player. This guy was largely unknown, but there was a song called Happiness is just around the bend that mostly revolved around 2 chords back and forth. They were simple chords and provided a great foundation for learning to solo.
Over the next several years, the influences quickly became vast and diverse. One minute I was playing rock & roll, then country/western, then jazz, then blues, then american folk. I even took a gig as the house show pianist at 6 Flags over Mid-America, where I learned show tunes and began to develop a more broadway style.
At one point, I used to think that all this influence was a curse, contributing to a stylistic confusion. Now I realize it was just the opposite. Having an understanding of these diverse styles played a significant role in expanding the depth of my style. Once I learned to incorporate each of them into a unified style, it all just clicked.