Join the Arkadia Records
EMail List E-Mail Address:
in New York City, Ralph Simon studied music at The Johns Hopkins
University and at the Peabody Conservatory. His teachers included
Joe Napoleon, Lee Konitz, and Sam Rivers. "Playing
with such great musicians as Paul Bley, John Scofield,
Billy Hart, Karl Berger, Gunter Hampel, Sunny
Murray, Mario Pavone, Jeanne Lee, Gene Adler
and Chip White in the 70's," notes Simon, "was particularly
inspiring and stimulating for me."
It was legendary pianist Paul Bley who inspired Simon to begin
composing. He later played piano on Time Being, Simon's 1981
debut album (Gramavision), which Jazz Hot hailed as "a harmonious
musical success which one doesn't tire of listening to". Simon also
credits his experience with Bley while he was founding the IAI label
with sparking his own interest in creating a jazz label -- which he
did in 1993 with Postcards, Inc.
The early 1980's found Simon playing saxophone in Europe. After his
return to New York, he focused on developing his compositional side.
"I began to hear music for larger ensembles than the usual jazz
quartet or quintet," he explains. "I had begun to develop my own
applications of modern orchestration and counterpoint." His efforts
and creativity were rewarded in 1991 with a grant from the New York
State Council on the Arts.