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Travis Shook

Travis Shook

Piano
March 10, 1969 --

Travis Shook



"We did not expect the kind of electricity that Travis Shook delivered [at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival's Great American Jazz Piano Contest]. His mastery, his depth, his self-assurance, his wit and showmanship produced an immediate and unprecedented unanimity among judges and audience: the only contest was for second place."

--Landon Walker


Discovery and revelation are two of the more momentous aspects of experiencing music. For Travis Shook the discovery of jazz happened in Washington State in his high school band class at the age of 16. Embedded with that discovery were two albums: Duke Ellington: Pure Gold and Herbie Hancock's Quartet.

It seems to have been a brief road to discovery for Travis, but it is also one that has been very deliverately designed and routed. After spending his first year of undergraduate study at Indiana University, home to the legendary David Baker, Travis felt the yearning of many a jazz player to be closer to the New York jazz scene.

And so he moved east to continue his studies at New Jersey's William Paterson College where he found Harold Mabern and Rufus Reid. Both were to become important influences for him, along with one of the classical music professors there, Gary Kirkpatrick. From Mabern, Travis learned about the true essence and "sound" of jazz. From Kirkpatrick, Travis learned about getting beyond the mere acquisition of technique and going for an approach that would give his performances more clarity and musicality. From Reid Travis received not only an understanding of the music itself, but also a foundation of practical knowledge of the jazz scene and of the problems and rewards that come with pursuing a performance career in jazz.

After graduation, Travis returned to his home in Washington. he worked in the Seattle area and began sitting in with bass player Buddy Catlett, a veteran of Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. Travis was able to continue his "studies" with the elders of jazz.

--AL PRYOR, from the liner notes.


A selected discography of Travis Shook albums.




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Travis Shook with Veronica Nunn



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