NIELS LAN DOKY
The quintessential jazz artist of a new era- "His airy textures and ironic, almost humorous detachment set [his] music sharply apart from the sobersided neo-bop of the young lions on the other side of the Atlantic. He turns Sonny Rollins' barreling "Sonnymoon For Two" into a playful and bluesy romp and twists the potentially corny "Someday My Prince Will Come" into a tender meditation... clever conversation." (****) -Larry Birnbaum (Down Beat Magazine, USA):
Since his early debut as a child prodigy performing with jazz legend Thad Jones, Niels Lan Doky has gone on to establish a unique artistic identity for himself, one that can never be duplicated, as the circumstances and mentors that helped him create it along the way, either no longer exist or can never be recreated. With his relentless creativity, unparalleled productivity and continuous acclaim added on top, Niels Lan Doky can undoubtedly be considered to be the quintessential jazz artist of the new era.
Since 1986 Danish-Vietnamese jazz pianist and composer Niels Lan Doky (born Oct. 3rd, 1963) has released no less than 33 albums under his own name, in addition to numerous appearances as a sideman or producer on albums by other artists. He has become an exclusive and compelling world class artist whose music is characterized by serenity and elegance and is consistently referred to as charismatic, virtuosic, innovative, sensible and sensual. He has worked with a who’s-who in jazz (1), recorded for the most prestigious labels (2), his audiences have included royalty and prominent world figures (3) and his reputation continuously exceeds well beyond the realm of jazz.
Some of his recordings have reached the pop charts and high profile international artists from other genres have frequently collaborated with him (4). In 2004 he debuted as a film director with the acclaimed feature length music documentary « Between a Smile and a Tear » (5) which was released in movie theaters as well as on TV and DVD.
In 2008 Niels Lan Doky received the Ben Webster Award, became a voting member of The Recording Academy (US Grammy Awards) and the Samsung corporation used one of his compositions (“Misty Dawn”) in their TV advertising campaign. In 2009 he has toured with the CTI All Star Band under the direction of legendary producer Creed Taylor. The band recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival for a forthcoming CD & Blu-Ray DVD release.
Niels Lan Doky is currently working on his third film which will be a unique hybrid between fiction and music documentary. He is also a published writer and is currently writing a new non-fiction book which explores the parallels between life and music improvisation, and uses jazz as a vehicle to philosophize on life. The book deals with how to view life as a work of art and how to apply musical concepts and improvisational techniques to improve your life (6). He is currently working on a new album of original compositions to be released alongside his new book.
Together with French percussionist Xavier-Desandre Navarre Niels Lan Doky is also developing a new recording project. The track “Passionate Bliss” from this project is a part of the soundtrack for the forthcoming Menno Meyjes film “Manolete” starring actress Penelope Cruz and Oscar® winner Adrien Brody.
Niels Lan Doky’s current touring group is a brand new all-Danish trio featuring Jonathan Bremer and Niclas Bardeleben (7). He is a Danish citizen, a permanent resident of the USA and also has a home base in Paris, France.
When Niels Lan Doky released his debut album in 1986, renowned American jazz writer Dan Morgenstern described him as follows:
"There is nothing more encouraging and satisfying than to encounter for the first time a young jazz musician of real stature, someone who can make you feel that the future of the music is in good hands. There cannot be the slightest doubt that Doky's talent is of real significance - that rare thing in the jazz of our time, an original voice in the great tradition."
Today, many years and many albums later, critics across the world remain as convinced as ever:
“The best pianist of the young generation “
(Swing Journal, Japan)
“One of the most prolific musicians of his generation”
"A technique nearly on the level of an Oscar Peterson but matched with a sound all his own. It is difficult not to come away very impressed."
"A very personal romantic sensitivity….a melodist, with a deep and enlightening touch."
“His songs have a Côte d'Azur brightness and could serve as evocative soundtracks for glamorous films - romances, jewel heists."
"A pianist of many parts. He can be spikily laconic, appropriately rhapsodic and fiercely muscular. He is also a most sensitive accompanist."
(Jazz Journal, UK)
"Inventive and ultra lyrical."
(Hot House, USA)
“Burns with memorable themes and excellent playing."
“Sparkling charisma ….. intelligent and imaginative, wonderful!"
(Svenska Dagbladets, Sweden)