Charles Blenzig is a pianist, composer, arranger, and percussionist who moves effortlessly among musical styles while retaining his own distinct sound. Living in New York City, Charles runs the “Late Night Jam Sessions” at The Blue Note jazz club in Greenwich Village. When he is not at The Blue Note, he is touring with his own group or Warner Brother’s recording artist Michael Franks. Charles has been musical director for Mr. Franks since 1990 and has toured the world, including performances in Japan, Europe, Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea.
Throughout the 1990s, he performed with the venerable Gil Evans Orchestra at its steady Monday night engagement at Sweet Basil in New York, playing with the likes of George Adams, Mark Egan, Hiram Bullock, Gil Goldstein, and Lou Soloff. Charles has also worked with Larry Coryell, Michael Urbaniak, saxophonist Bill Evans, Joe Beck, Ursula Dudziak, Horace Arnold, Michael Brecker, and many others. Highlights of his discography include Kenwood Denard’s debut CD “Just Advance,” Japanese saxophonist Takeshi Ito’s “Group Island,” “We Remember Pastorius” (a tribute to the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius), and Bill Evans and Push “Live in Europe.”
Charles has released three CDs as a leader. His self-titled debut recording includes Mike Stern, Chris Hunter, and Joe Banned. His second, “Say What You Mean,” produced by Will Lee (bassist on David Letterman), features Michael Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Alex Foster, and Manolo Badrena. Charles’ third release is a collection of classic American songs in an acoustic piano trio setting, accompanied by Kenny Davis on bass and Gene Jackson on drums (both musicians are members of Herbie Hancock’s current group). The recording is entitled “Certain Standards.”
Charles Blenzig’s sensitivity, technical assurance, and broad palette make him a musician’s musician. But even the most casual listener will be captivated by the ebullience of his playing, the insight of his arrangements, and the visionary diversity of his compositions.