Eric Pan began his love for piano on the kitchen floor. The way his mother
tells it, he was seven years old, racing his toy cars as she cooked and
whistled to a scratchy cassette recording of the Moonlight Sonata….
“Mom, I want to play that”, he said simply.
The Travel Poems are a collection of Eric Pan’s own compositions.
It is one album divided in two categories: the solo and duo recordings,
and the Jazz trio pieces recorded at the Trixx studios in Berlin during the month of October 2016.
Please visit the TRAVEL POEMS Website !
Footage From The Recording Session.
Photos from the Recording Session.
Like so many jazz pianists these days, Eric is classically trained, but his
flirtation with spontaneous, unscripted music-making also began early.
Visits to his 90-year- old upright mahogany Baldwin, under cover of
darkness, long past bedtime, for hasty transcriptions of a melody he’d heard
in a dream, flights of whim up and down the keyboard, safe in the laboratory
of home practice.
Once, in the fourth grade at Phoenix, Arizona’s Park Meadows Elementary, right after bluffing to his classmates that he knew the “second and third movement to Chopsticks”, he was challenged to prove it. He walked over to the out-of- tune classroom piano, and narrated as he began to play “This is the first part of Chopsticks, the part that everyone knows”. The otherwise shy and quiet Eric Pan made up “the rest” of the entire suite as he went along, crescendoing to a flurry of notes before ending the charade to cheers and applause (from nine-year- olds and an undoubtedly supportive homeroom teacher, no less).
Eric knew little of jazz until high school, specifically during junior year at Taipei American School, in his native Taiwan. His best friend introduced him to a Count Basie record. They sampled unfamiliar Monk albums. They snuck into jazz clubs. A few years later, as Eric began studying, in his words: “philosophy and computers” at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he signed up for an elective. which promised to teach the basics of group jazz improvisation.
Music became his unofficial third major. Between classes Eric lingered at the music center on campus, returning after night had fallen, after even the music students had departed. He put together a trio to play at dining halls during college mealtimes. This trajectory led to gigs around Santa Cruz, then nearby San Francisco, and eventually a permanent relocation to New York City, the jazz capital of earth.
More recently Eric joined the „Master of Music“ program at the City College of New York, an intimate eleven-student program under the tutelage of bass virtuoso John Patitucci. Nowadays he performs around the world in New York City as well as in Berlin, Germany, his combined home-base. He has played shows with and received accolades from jazz giants such as Jeff Hamilton, Ray Brown, Marcus Shelby. He loves jazz standards, free improvisation, and the spectrum in between, performing solo or with groups, collecting harmonies from travels and varied musical traditions to be blended together for impassioned expression through his unique voice.
The Rehearsal Before The Recording Session.