'I am a very lucky man. I grew up to be a jazz musician. I didn't focus on jazz until the ripe old age of six. Now I get to do something new every day. TOTAL IMMERSION represents a lot of what I have been studying and absorbing for the last forty plus years. I wasn't sure I would release the CD for sale at the formative stages of the project. My goal was to make a great recording of myself and my compositions. This recording achieves much more than that and so I have decided to make it available. It was composed and recorded in three stages. Stage One was the vibes and bass duets which feature Steve Rust. I have played with Steve many times but hearing him play a night of solo bass a few years back made me realize we had to record together. Stage Two was the vibes/marimba and piano duets. The marimba solo on 'Dream In Progress' is a respectful nod to Terry Gibbs. John Esposito is an awesome pianist and he has inspired me many nights. He fully understands my thinking and we respect each others commitment to great music. Stage Three was the quintet recordings. This was the most challenging to compose for. I wanted to write good melodies and let the band take it where it seemed to naturally go. I knew this was a group that could really swing so I gave them the tunes and away we went. Mike DeMicco, guitar, is like a three alarm fire with great taste and a sensitive side too. Playing with him is always exciting and inspiring. Jay Anderson, bass, is so accomplished on so many levels that I cannot explain it here. His discography reads like a Who's Who. Gerry Gibbs, drums, is like a younger brother to me in virtually every way imaginable. He is also my favorite drummer and I had to have him on this recording. It is a privilege and an honor to have these musicians sharing their talents with me.' Rick Altman BIOGRAPHY Rick discovered the piano at four years old while left alone in a room to amuse himself. His father began encouraging him at seven and formal lessons on drums began at elementary school in Los Angeles. Private lessons followed during his teenage years. Soon he gravitated to the vibes, learning much on his own, but when the legendary vibes player, Terry Gibbs, accepted him for private studies in 1970, Rick's life was changed forever. Terry's passion for perfection was infectious. He told Rick 'If you don't want to be the best vibes player ever, leave now.' That's the level of commitment Terry demanded. He studied under Terry for nearly a decade. During those years, he developed a lifelong learning approach to the music: 'If anyone had told me I would be studying at my age, I wouldn't have believed them. However, I'm still excited by every step I take, everyday.' Rick gradually found his own voice and style. Along the way he recorded vibes and other percussion with Della Reese, Kenny Burrell, The Temptations, and Big Joe Turner. He also performed with west coast heavyweights Conte Candoli, Jimmie Smith, Bob Magnusson, Don Menza, and Ernie Andrews. With Terry Gibbs' encouragement, Rick moved to New York City in 1980. Gibbs had personally introduced the young vibes player to many jazz greats and Rick quickly established his niche on the club circuit - often performing every night - with players as diverse as Lonnie Plaxico, Jimmy Cobb, Walter Bishop Jr., and many other great players. It was during this period that he began to play with one of his musical heroes, Albert Dailey, with whom he later recorded. At the same time Rick was exploring his own ideas and taking classes with Barry Harris. Rick spent two years playing weekends at the Village Gate which gave him the opportunity to play with people like Roy Hargrove, The Harper Brothers, Michael Cain, Larry Goldings, bluesman Albert King, and the legendary Reggie Workman. He also stepped out as a leader of his own recording projects. In 1984 he met guitarist and composer Barry Glick and in 1987 they released an album of all original compositions, CITYSCAPE, which won praise from critics, radio personalities, and fans for it's exploration of more outside music as well as it's authentic post-bop lines. In the early 90's Rick became interested in exploring the soul-jazz of the 50's and 60's and formed a group featuring vibes and marimba, organ, drums, saxophone and trumpet. A recording, FIRESTORM, was made but not released for sale. In 1991 Rick moved to upstate New York to study and explore jazz without the distractions of city life. What he found was a music community that is rich in creativity and a love of all the arts. In the Woodstock area Rick met several of the great musicians featured on his newest release, TOTAL IMMERSION, while playing a mixed bag of gigs including concerts, night clubs, and hotels. Rick has taught at the State University of New York at New Paltz and also teaches privately. Rick is currently composing and rehearsing a unique duet project with composer and marimba/piano player David Oliver. The music is a mix of jazz, folk, Indian, Turkish, Latin, reggae, ska,and others. A lot of the compositions include ever changing mixed meters and present a challenge far removed from his jazz roots while still relying heavily on improvisation. Having played several concerts in New York's Catskill Mountains, he and David are planning to record some of that music soon. Rick is planning a website that will feature many recordings, press clippings, a gallery of instruments, contact and booking information, and upcoming performances. You may e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.