Pianist/composer Tim Lyddon describes his approach to music as "...uncompromised, what I feel from the heart, drawn from my life's experiences".
Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett along with impressionism and introspection are key influences and elements in his approach. Tim began studying piano at nine years old, but took a serious interest in jazz three years later after his family moved to California.Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and Bud Powell were his first influences in developing his own natural swing feel. Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Jarrett and Evans soon followed. A serious and dedicated student, he studied with Charlie Shoemake and Terry Trotter, and after a two year stint in Las Vegas, he returned to Los Angeles and immersed himself in the jazz scene playing with great musicians such as Dick Berk, Chuck Flores, Sam Most, Bob Summers and Kim Richmond as well as leading his own trio.He recorded two trio projects and also recorded two albums with Stan Kenton trombonist Ray Weigand, as well as various television and movie scores.
After studying classical piano on scholarship with Milton Stern, Tim studied composition and arranging with Spud Murphy, who also taught such luminaries as Oscar Peterson, Gerald Wiggins and Bennie Maupin.
Receiving a scholarship from Manhattan School of Music, Tim moved to New York to continue his studies with Byard and Harold Danko, and teaching as well.
He's performed regularly with his own trio in New York and around the East coast and Asia. In addition to bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Scott Latzky, his trio has also included bassists Tony Marino, Scott Lee and Steve La Spina, and drummers Eliot Zigmund, Jeff Hirschfeld and Tom Rainey.
Tim has recorded and performed extensively since 1979. Lyddon's most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Starting in 1988, his group released 2 recordings on the Essence jazz label entitled Trio music and Trio music2. His first record for Essence, trio music was released in September 1985. After three rewarding years with Jack Ranelli playing in Lyddon's regular trio, drummer Kendall Kay joined bassist Darek Oles in the band in 1988. The label released another album from the Tim Lyddon, trio music, volume 2 in 1990.
. In 2000 Essence jazz released "I've Traveled So Far", the highly anticipated followup along with "Shades of People" in 2005. These were both trio outings (nyc) with long time associates bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Scott Latzky. These were both critically acclaimed works. Dan Karcher of WBGO called "traveled", the best trio cd in recent years"
It offers eight originals and two standards that brilliantly display Tim's highly personal approach to improvisation - a style that one of his former teachers, the legendary Jaki Byard said "shows the depth of an exceptionally mature musician". The Byard influence is quite apparent on the album's closer, a delightful solo piano excursion on the Burke-Van Heusen classic I Thought About You that incorporates many elements of the jazz piano tradition.
But it's Lyddon's original compositions that display the full breadth of his exceptional talent.
"I draw on a combination of elements from many styles of music, but always holding onto the art of swing."
Driven by dense, linear harmonic shapes, Tim's compositions constantly seek resolution, going in exhilarating and surprising directions underneath a very singing lyrical melody. Although the music is complex in harmony and form, the trio keeps things simple and understated with a subtle sense of nuance.
Even on pieces like the percussively grooving title cut and the adventurously conceived, driving blues, What Time Is It?, the sensitive interplay between piano, bass and drums is always the prime directive,
Tim couldn't ask for better or more sensitive support from bass and drums than he receives here. Hubbard's subtly shaded but rock solid bass work and Latzky's deft, light touch (often just using brushes) never overplay, and in Tim's words "provide a solid foundation from which the piano can lay its impressionistic colors like a floating blanket."
In 2005 Essence released 'Shades of People". Reminiscent of pianist Keith jarrett, says Dan Karcher. "All three musicians come together again as one entity that reveals how dynamic an entity can be"
He is firstly an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he is also a composer brewing in the impressionistic realms of Ravel and Debussy. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of his musical thought serves as an expression. Each tune has a strongly felt narrative , whether it expresses itself in a beginning, an end, or something left intentionally open-ended. The two sides of Lyddons' personality, the improviser and the composer play off each other, and the effect is often something like controlled chaos.
Lyddon has performed around the world at a regular pace since 2010, with his trio and as a solo pianist. In Japan, Tim played at several venues and recorded two videos-"Live in Akasaka" volume 1 (2009) and volume 2 (2015) with Yuma takagi (bass) and Akira Yamada on drums His performances convey a wide range of expression. He has attracted a decent following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance.
In addition to his trio and solo projects, Lyddon has worked with a number of great jazz musicians, including Darek Oles, Chuck Flores, Dick Berk, Sam Most, Eliot Zigmond,Bill Goodwin,Tony Moreno, Jeff Hirshfield etc.
Lyddon also has played on a number of recordings outside of the jazz idiom, like His music has appeared in several movies, including "The laughing man" and "Oceanus"
Discography: As a Leader/Solo: trio music(1985) trio music (volume 2),(1988), I've Traveled So Far (2000), Shades of People (2005) Live in Akasaka vol. 1&2(tokyo) 2009, Live in Akasaka vol. 3&4(tokyo) 2015 As a sideman: Love Sounds- Roy Wiegand, Home Again- Roy Wiegand,Flight into Fantasy(1987)- Richard Maloof, Waiting on the flame(1994) -John French, Kundalini Beat(2007)- Dev Suroop, Born to Fly(2008)- Simone Awhina
And has performed with:
Scott Lee, Steve Laspina, Tom Hubbard, Tony Marino, Harvey Newmark,Bob Magnusson,Darek Oles, Juini Booth, Jeff Berlin, John Clayton, Putter Smith, Martin Wind, John Hebert, Scott Colley, Monty Budwig, Richard Maloof
Chuck Flores,Dick Berk,
Eliot Zigmund, Scott Latzky, Jeff Hirschfield, Jeff Hamilton, Billy Mintz, Tony Moreno, Bill Goodwin,Tom Rainey, John Hollenbeck, Jack Ranelli, John French
Bob Summers, Carl Saunders,Roy Wiegand, Andy Martin, Bill Watrous, Ray Lynn
Kim Richmond, Sam Most, Bobby Millitello,Gary Foster, Bob Shepherd, Ralph LaLama, Gordon Brisker,
Herb Jeffries, Dennis Rowland, Mariette Hartley, Supremes, Brenda Vaccaro, Al Wilson, JC Parish, Paul Delicato.