Sorrows and Triumphs

There are multiple fluencies, along many frequencies, in the music of Edward Simon... His luxurious new album, Sorrows & Triumphs, is a sleek expression of modernist chamber-jazz writing.””

Nate Chinen, WBGO Take Five

Pianist Edward Simon, a native of Venezuela, has made a name for himself over decades in America as a jazz improviser, composer-arranger and bandleader, with his profile heightening in recent years as he has explored the commonalities of jazz with the folkloric sounds of Latin America. JazzTimes summed up his impact this way: “Simon is less talked about than many other important jazz pianists from the Caribbean and South America, but he may be the most complete creative artist among them.” Based in the San Francisco Bay Area as a member of the all-star SFJAZZ Collective, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of multiple composition grants through Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works initiative. 

His brand new recording Sorrows and Triumphs showcases the long-running virtuoso quartet Afinidad and the acclaimed chamber quintet Imani Winds, plus special guests including vocalist Gretchen Parlato. It brings together the distinct and often exclusive worlds of jazz and classical music, challenging chamber musicians to stretch their improvising and interpretive skills, while inviting jazz musicians into the formal structures of classical music. Their harmonious collaboration on two bodies of work commissioned by Chamber Music of America’s New Jazz Works, the suites “Sorrows and Triumphs” and “House of Numbers,” results in a holistic listening experience that brims with a lyricism both intimate and majestic. About this music, influenced by his Buddhist practice, the pianist says: “I wanted these compositions to bring joy to the listener, to be direct and accessible, with singable melodies.” Summing up a string of glowing reviews for the album, All About Jazz said: “Edward Simon's sensitivity, eloquence, strength and intelligence stand in full view throughout this gorgeous collection.”


“Maybe it’s the careful construction of his music, or the musical bond created by years of playing with the same band, or the influence of Buddhist practice and ideas that makes Simon’s new CD so simultaneously complex, deeply satisfying and listenable. Probably it’s all those factors, along with Simon’s stunning pianism and the prowess of his longtime quartet Afinidad... Simon achieves a rare feat, creating music of extraordinary depth that’s easy to listen to. Meditative, grooving, and above all joyful, Sorrows & Triumphs soars into the jazz stratosphere.” —Monarch Magazine

"Sorrow & Triumphs really is quite triumphant. It is music that frees the spirit, music that is, at times, dreamlike and at other times, rooted to the rhythms of Venezuela. The impressive melodies, the intelligent arrangements, and the delightful musicianship. —Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

Edward Simon heard growing up in are all good reasons why you should dig into this sublime recording. “This is majestic, lush music put together with intelligence and emotional depth. Simon writes as profoundly as Maria Schneider and fits a lot of disparate musical elements together with imagination. He also has the good fortune of working with excellent musicians—especially Gretchen Parlato, who sounds amazing here. This is one of 2018's finest musical achievements so far.” -Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz

Sorrows and Triumphs was supported by New Music USA. To follow the project as it unfolds, 
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