ON PIANO/SYNTH - JOEL LYSSARIDES
Most of the songs I wrote early on for this album had an obvious jazz quartet vibe to them, so right out the gate I knew I would need a pianist who's got that type of thing down. Later on, when Björn Arkö got on board, Joel's name immediately popped up in my head. Not only because he is a phenomenal pianist, but also because he & Björn have a history of playing a lot together in various situations, so I knew that their interplay would be a great asset, and really benefit these songs.
Joel is without a doubt one of my favorite "up-and-coming" pianists, and someone you'll hear a lot more from in the years to come, for sure! To quote the great George Whitty (Brecker Brothers, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock et al.):
"A real music-first musician; mature way beyond his years and equally interested in depth and fire, sophistication and simplicity, density and openness. He has the ability when he's playing to get you to sit up straight in your chair and really listen in a way that's pretty rare these days."
For more info on Joel, please check out joellyssarides.com & his Facebook page.