The passing of time; the passing of loved ones; dreams; light quality; echoes; the elements; the language of blues and jazz. These are just a few of the ethereal themes captured in the new album "Gone But Not," a stunning solo piano album featuring Chicago-based composer Ira Antelis’ original compositions performed by renowned New York jazz pianist Lee Musiker.
"Gone But Not" is the culmination of a 40-year friendship between Antelis and Musiker. The two first met when they were students at Harpur College in Binghamton, New York. Over time, their careers diverged—Antelis became a successful composer and producer for commercials, movies, and theatre, penning a multi-million selling hit for Marc Anthony and working with such high-profile clients as Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Walt Disney, BB King, Etta James, Patti LaBelle, and Gloria Estefan. Musiker found his way as a jazz, classical, and Broadway musician, conductor, and orchestrator, sharing the stage with Tony Bennett for nearly 12 years.
When they finally convened during the winter of 2015 in snowy Chicago, something extraordinary happened. "Gone But Not" was created, crystallizing a low-key, enduring legacy of mutual respect and admiration between the two.
In "Gone But Not," Antelis took the time to write scenic pieces with a balanced poetic equilibrium, specifically with his friend's pellucid touch at the piano in mind. For his own part, Musiker develops the material spontaneously, with brilliance and precision. This is not didactic, demagogic music, and it shows little interest in hitting the listener over the head with distracting pyrotechnics. "Gone But Not" simply shines—with a rare, knowing-and-inquiring beauty.