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Mark Latimer

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Biography of Mark Latimer

Mark Latimer is a very distinguished classical pianist whose technique has been compared with that of Horowitz. He has performed with Sir Adrian Boult, Vilem Tausky, Paul Tortelier, Campoli and the Amadeus and Brodsky Quartets, to name but a few. He makes a speciality of complex and difficult works, such as Alkan and Busoni concertos, widely considered to be virtually unplayable and has recorded the complete Reger Variations and Fugues. He was a professor at the London College of Music before the age of 20 and currently teaches at the University of Wales.

Since he was performing Prokofiev and Rachmaninov with European orchestras at the age of 16, Latimer might seem to be a prime example of the classical-first camp, but in fact his first contact with music of any sort came from listening to his Dad's collection of jazz 78s. ('And managing to break a few in the process usually the irreplaceable ones'). When I discussed the matter with him briefly; we came to the not very satisfactory conclusion that this jazz-first business probably has something to do with the perception of rhythm and 'not being regimented from the very beginning'. Whatever the case , Mark Latimer is a superb jazz pianist , as the music on this CD demonstrates. He pursues his jazz career with the seriousness he brings to all music and has worked with a vast array of musicians. The alphabetical list of names he provided for me begins with Larry Adler , end with Don Weller and encompasses such diverse figures as Stan Getz, Buddy Tate, Guy Barker and Slim Gaillard. He doesn't experience any difficulty in switching from one idiom to another unlike Wynton Marsalis, who has virtually given up classical music for this very reason, and finds the at calls for very little in the way of technical adjustment. 'The only problem is sometimes the acoustics. Or if the drummer is very loud, and you have to play more percussively'.

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