Johnny O’Neal – In the Moment CD


1. Sweet Monk
2. Guilty
3. Churchill Grounds
4. Saving All My Love for You
5. After the Love Has Gone
6. She Doesn’t Know (I Love Her)
7. Slow Hot Wind
8. Please Be Kind
9. The Folks Who Live on the Hill
10. CGLS
11. People Make the World Go ‘Round
12. Sunday in New York
13. Trav’lin’ Light
14. Just a Dream (On My Mind)
15. Being in Love with You
16. Tropical Breeze

$ 10.00

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SKU: SSR-1707-CD Category:

8-panel Digipak Album

“It’s all on display here: the intricacy and commitment in his pianism, the intimacy and conviction in his voice. Yes, O’Neal can seemingly mold anything—he does the Stylistics, Henry Mancini, Kern-Hammerstein, and Earth, Wind & Fire in this live-in-studio set—and his own tunes too.”
— Jeff Tamarkin, JazzTimes

“Critics and peers acknowledge Mr. O’Neal as perhaps the leading exponent of mid-20th-century jazz piano technique. ‘He’s a very special cat,’ said the pianist Barry Harris, a bebop luminary who mentored Mr. O’Neal in the 1970s and ’80s. ‘If ever somebody sounded like Art Tatum, it’s him. He’s got it all.’”
— Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times


While every great jazz musician knows the value of spontaneity, few understand the true value of being in the moment quite like Johnny O’Neal. He was a rising star in the early 1980s before a severe mugging forced him to leave New York in 1986. He made a celebrated return to the Big Apple in 2010, however, and his life has been on the upswing since, fulfilling that long-promised star status at the age of 60. IN THE MOMENT, his most vivid recording to date fully captures the elegant pianism and emotionally gripping voice that has made him such a beloved fixture on the NYC jazz scene.

The album features bassist Ben Rubens and drummer Itay Morchi, who are O’Neal’s regular working trio. The weightless swing and easy but deeply felt interplay the three share reveal the benefits of their regular residencies four and five nights a week, including every Saturday at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club. The biggest names in jazz make a point of stopping by to hear O’Neal, and there’s no telling who might sit in during his sets on any given week. True to that policy, two very special guests dropped by the studio for this session—trumpet great Roy Hargrove and tenor-man Grant Stewart.

The wide-ranging repertoire they perform provides a cross-section of the hundreds of pieces that make up the O’Neal Trio’s ever-changing book. The material ranges from blues to straight-ahead to post-bop to pop tunes to ballads, each one fully explored and deftly illuminated by O’Neal and his electrifying bandmates. Unlike most of his past recordings, it shows off several of O’Neal’s own compositions, some of which date back more than 20 years but has never been recorded.

“I’ve come through all these trials and setbacks,” he says. “Now I’m a veteran, and I’m grateful for that. Some people get so much praise when they’re younger, and they can’t handle it. I can appreciate things much more now.”
released October 6, 2017

Johnny O’Neal – piano & vocals
Ben Rubens – bass
Itay Morchi – drums
Roy Hargrove – trumpet (tracks 1, 2, 6, 12 & 13)
Grant Stewart – tenor saxophone (tracks 1, 6, 7 & 12)

Recorded Live May 9, 2017 at Sear Sound Studio C, NYC

Produced by Paul Stache
Associate Producer: Damon Smith
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Chris Allen
Studio Assistant: Grant Valentine
Liner Notes by Nate Chinen
Photography by Jimmy Katz
Design by Damon Smith & Paul Stache

Executive Producers: Frank Christopher & Paul Stache

Weight 0.33 lbs