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Piano Solos (Johnny Costa LP)
From the Cover
Although Johnny Costa is still a youthful virtuoso, he has been performing ever since he could get his fingers on a few keys. Originally the keys were the keys of an accordion which he played as a child. Born in Arnold, Pennsylvania, a little more than thirty years ago, Johnny began his musical education when he was ten. For seven years he devoted himself to perfecting his technique on the accordion, and then suddently decided to tackle a larger keyboard. He studied piano with Martin Meissler, the same teacher who had instructed Oscar Levant.
After travelling with Tommy Reynolds and other small organizations, he was stopped by the war and became a medical aide. After the armistice, Johnny played in a few night spots but felt that he still had much to learn. He resumed serious musical education -- this time with Nicolai Lopatnikoff at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, from which he received degrees in Composition and Public Education. Shortly afterwards he became Staff Pianist for KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Johnny Costa's playing is a fine blend of pure musicianship and sheer improvisation. His fingers slip easily from lush romantic phrases to subtle syncopation; from moods of quiet meditation to delicate but definitive jazz rhythms. Whatever he plays, he plays with grace and gusto...an enjoyment which is not only communicated but shared between the performer and the listener.
With Jimmy Crawford (Drums) and Sandy Block (Bass)
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