Format: CD
Label: ATRN
Rel. Date: 02/19/2021
UPC: 769804445027

Artist: Gregg Karukas
Format: CD
New: In Stock $14.98

Available Formats and Editions


1. Travessia
2. Ponta de Areia
3. Serenata
4. Nascente
5. Tudo O Que Voce Podia Ser
6. Better Days
7. Sound of Emotion
8. Clube da Esquina,No 2
9. Paisegem de Janela
10. Dori's Song
11. O Cantador
12. Para Sempre
13. Historia Antiga
14. Lament
15. Long Ago

More Info:

"Serenata (Piano Impressions of Milton Nacimento, Clube da Esquina and Dori Caymmi)"Great melodies; the essential quality that has defined Grammy winning keyboardist/composer/producer Gregg Karukas' 12 solo CD's over a three decade career, with many #1 radio hits, both sophisticated and accessible. Serenata, his first ever solo piano project, offers romantic impressions of classic songs from iconic Brazilian artists Milton Nascimento and Dori Caymmi as well as new and re-imagined Karukas originals. Coming out of a 4 year hiatus, following the loss of his wife Yvonne from brain cancer, Gregg found the challenges of both the Covid isolation and developing his solo piano voice to be the perfect catalyst for reclaiming beauty, hope and, most importantly, new original music. Gregg regards his years touring with Brazilian artists Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira in the 1990's as some of his favorite musical experiences. As producer, pianist, composer and arranger, Gregg won the New Age Grammy in 2013 (Echoes of Love), and has also worked with pianist David Lanz, arranging and producing two successful crossover CDs. A versatile founding member of the Los Angeles smooth jazz community, Gregg contributed to many seminal projects (The Rippingtons, Dave Koz, Peter White, Boney James). After a recent move, Gregg discovered a dusty box of cassettes of his live shows in the 1990's with Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira and was curious to check out one particular tape marked "Dori - Le Cafe" with a star!... Gregg says, "Those Dori shows at that tiny Los Angeles music room were legendary, with everyone from Michel LeGrand, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones to Wayne Shorter in the audience. I had to buy a used cassette deck to play it, and it was one of our magical nights. I sat down at the piano and recalled many of the Dori Caymmi songs as best as I could and got very emotional. That evening pulled me out of my comfort zone and set me on a surprising new adventure, a solo piano project that I hope will bring some peace and joy to all who are suffering during this challenging time. A few of the pieces are late night, through-composed improvisations. "Some of the songs on Serenata may be familiar. English versions of Dori Caymmi's O Cantador/Like a Lover and Milton's first hit, Travessia/Bridges have been recorded by everyone from Sarah Vaughn to Natalie Cole to Tony Bennett. "Most people think of Brazillian music as highly rhythmic, based on samba, or carnival," Gregg says, "but there are so many other great qualities that encompass a world of influences; Portuguese folk ballads, American jazz, mountain rhythms, lots of acoustic guitars... Milton's soaring vocals are so distinctive. I love the more emotional, romantic melodies, and while I don't understand any of the Portuguese lyrics, these songs are very special to me, especially since Dori honored Yvonne and me by singing O Cantador at our wedding in 1992. "Gregg first discovered Milton Nascimento and his Beatles-influenced Clube da Esquina all star family during his formative years in the Washington, DC area, thanks to classic collaborations in the late '70's with Wayne Shorter (Native Dancer), George Duke and Deodato. The chef at the local jazz club who had lived in Brazil allowed Gregg to borrow and tape his whole collection of import LP's. Listening constantly on the way to his gigs, Gregg found the lush melodies and harmonies of Milton and friends to be a 'sacred' respite, the perfect antidote to the involved, dynamic jazz fusion he was writing and playing. "I deliberately did not try to analyze or learn the songs at the piano, up until very recently that is... and so I was able to approach this music with a fresh, unfiltered perspective". Moving to Los Angeles with his multi-keyboard and synthesizer skills in 1982, touring with Melissa Manchester, Gregg's focus was not on developing a solo career. While working with many songwriters, he segued into production and lots of TV/Film music sessions, (Cheers, Stand and Deliver, Life Goes On, Mr. Wrong, Major Payne). Gregg arranged and played all keyboards on the theme songs to Disney's Ducktales and Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers, played keyboards on Rockwell's breakthrough CD, "Somebody's Watching Me" and contributed to over 100 CD's. By the mid-'80's he was playing his own, stylistically diverse, original songs at local gigs with top session players and leading the studio house band for It's Garry Shandling's Show on Showtime. One bandmate suggested he knew a small "new adult contemporary" label that was looking for artists, Gregg sent in his songs (1987's The Nightowl) and began a 3 decade solo career of chart topping melodies that has perfectly paralleled the growth of the Smooth Jazz genre. Gregg was also Musical Director and featured artist on the Dave Koz and Friends at Sea All-Star Cruises. Looking back, Gregg had no idea he would eventually be recording and playing on the world's biggest stages with many of his Brazilian musical heroes, including Montreux Jazz with Caymmi, and multiple shows at the Hollywood Bowl with Sergio Mendes, Ivan Lins, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Oscar Castro Neves, Toots Thielemans and Caymmi. Serenata brings this musical "love affair" full circle, a crossover treat from the heart, for the heart. Early review quotes:"Serenata" is the definition of solo piano heaven. It is easy to tell that this is an artist on the very top of his game. It has moved me deeply, and several of the pieces here will be included in our permanent playlist, to play for years and years. Fantastic work. "BT Fasmer - New Age Music GuideWith his first solo piano album, Grammy winner Gregg Karukas dazzles, not with piano pyrotechnics, but with subtle nuance and a deep love for this music. A mix of original compositions along with piano impressions of Brazilian artists Milton Nacimento, Clube da Esquina and Dori Caymmi, Karukas clearly demonstrates that, in the right hands, great music (and great musicianship!) defies genres and categories to enrich the ears and hearts of anyone willing to take some time to listen. Serenata is sure to be one of the best and most honored albums of 2021!Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano. ComSerenata is a pleasant surprise,... very lyrical. It comes through that you really "get" the music and have a deep appreciation of these songs. Karukas - a longtime collaborator with the likes of Dori Caymmi and Sergio Mendes - not only has the discerning taste to pick these songs to interpret, but also the chops and the right sensibility to interpret them for a new generation. Chris McGowan- Author of: The Brazilian Sound and The Brazilian Music Book