Robbie specialises in a style of early jazz piano known as ‘Stride’. Born of ragtime, the term ‘stride’ was coined for reasons that will be immediately recogniseable if you spy the left hand of a well versed practitioner. Stride, in it’s purest form, is a rarely heard idiom and Robbie is one of the very few masters of the style in Australia.
While many a pianist may be fine purveyors of the accurate leaping left hand, Stride piano is a much more specific adherence to particular rhythms and mannerisms. For demonstration, one must simply listen to some of the founding masters of the style. The music of James P. Johnson, Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith, Fats Waller and Donald Lambert would constitute an excellent start. While Robbie often fuses his genuine grasp of stride with many other forms of music, to great expressive effect and artistic exploration, the soul of the music remains unmistakably, ‘Stride Piano’.
Stride is especially suited to solo performance due to its emphasis on the ability to mimic an entire rhythm section in the left hand. Robbie regularly performs as a solo artist, including a mix of ragtime, stomps and eccentric arrangements of eclectic melodies amongst established jazz standards.
Robbie’s debut CD ‘Instride Job’ came out in November 2019 and is currently being toured around Australia. Please check the calendar for details on the next solo piano concert near you.
‘Instride Job’ is available for purchase through this website.