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Eric Muhler Trio
November 11, 2013
At the forefront of American jazz
Monday, November 11
Eric Muhler has always been difficult to categorize. He began his love affair with music as a classical piano prodigy studying at the age of six with Jolan Kanyuk in Berkeley but then went sideways and started his first rock band, The Pacers, when he was twelve years old. He taught himself blues by listening to records of John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.
A product of the late 60’s Bay Area rock scene he formed the band Edge in the early seventies. Unsatisfied with rock he began the serious study of jazz piano, harmony and theory with Mike Nock, Bill Bell, and Dave Creamer. To earn a living playing piano he worked as a dance accompanist for jazz, modern and ballet dance classes at the Peralta Colleges, UC Berkeley, Margaret Jenkins, CSU Hayward, Contra Costa Ballet, and was the Company Pianist for the Oakland Ballet.
Having found a distinctive voice in his composition and playing styles he formed the group Quiet Fire featuring Dave Creamer and himself as co-writers of the band's material and played for several years around the Bay Area club and jazz festival scene. He produced a record, “Red Daze” which was re-released as a CD in 2007.
Turning his creative genius in yet another direction, he spent the eighties and nineties composing and producing scores for children's videos, feature films, and animated educational films. He also recorded the solo piano album “Other Worlds.”
Muhler has two children, Alexandra and Zoë, now in their twenties. Zoë, a composer of electronic music and professional hip hop dancer, collaborates with Muhler in his shows, collaborating on original music and choreographing hip hop dance which she performs live in shows.
With five CD’s under his belt Muhler seems to now be solely focused on live performances of his music which has been reviewed as “consistently original,” “like little journeys, road trips that twist and turn and reward listeners with surprises around every corner.”
From hard driving bop to lush, complex New Age Romanticism, hip hop to funk, Muhler has brought his own unique vision to music bolstered on the incredible platform of his “remarkable technique.” Compared to McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, and Art Lande, Muhler’s many twists and turns have somehow ended him solidly in the driver’s seat of American jazz.