||From the June, 2002 issue of Offbeat
(THE New Orleans monthly music magazine) review of John Royen's CD
written by music critic Robert Fontenot: "John is
the man who brought East-Coast style stride piano to Preservation
Hall in the early 1980's, adding a syncopated ragtime beat to the
traditional New Orleans sound." "...as a newly
recorded documentation of a nearly-lost art, this is both
historically and culturally significant."
"Stride piano devotees will be happy to hear a local son of
sorts delivering such a consolidation of styles; the uninitiated
will simply hear the sound of life, in all its beautiful, horrible
Thanks to Grant Simpson of www.stridepiano.com
fame. He has kindly linked to our website. Be sure to check out his.
From the latest issue of The Second Line, Steve Steinberg
has written a review of the Solo Tradition CD. Here are some
"There is certainly no shortage of first class
jazz pianists in our town. Boeddinghaus, Butler, Crawford, McDermott,
Pistorius, Torkanowsky...these are just some of the names that come to
mind...But among this stellar lineup, John Royen holds a unique
position...John is our stride guy."
"...a texture and feeling that tells me more about
John Royen than I knew before."
"Clothesline Ballet...It really rocks and it's an
ideal way to start off."
"...you're going to want to hear this one again."
Rag--The Voice of Traditional Jazz
"John is a sensational pianist," says ace drummer Hal Smith, who
has played with John for years. "He is immersed in the Harlem
stride style but he sometimes ventures into other territory--Morton,
Sullivan, blues, and boogie-woogie. Whatever style he performs is
played for keeps. John is an excellent musician, a gentleman, and a
delightful musical associate."
The Mississippi Rag (in another issue)
Underlining the pianist's important role in small group jazz, (Tim)
Laughlin says, "Today with clubs only hiring trios, John handles the
absence of the bass line like a real pro....(He was) the backbone of
the rhythm section of my band at the New Orleans Hilton."
JRM, 14102 Wembley Rd ~ Folsom, LA 70437