"Gibbons dashes off
the most insanely
difficult passage-work

with a broad grin.
This is music that
requires verve, nerve,
and Gibbons' enviable
capacity to generate
party atmosphere."

Yorkshire Post



 


JACK GIBBONS PRESS QUOTES...

New York Times impeachment special

For full reviews click on the image to visit the press room.

"There's no finer player of Gershwin around than Jack Gibbons"
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DAILY TELEGRAPH, Queen Elizabeth Hall recital, July 11th 1999
"Jack Gibbons is THE Gershwin pianist of our time. Gibbons has transcribed the composer's flamboyant and fiendishly difficult recreations of his own show-tunes... he dashes off the most insanely difficult passage-work with a broad grin. This is music that requires verve, nerve, and Gibbons' enviable capacity to generate party atmosphere."
-
YORKSHIRE POST/BBC PROMS, Royal Albert Hall London, 1995
"Of all the recent waves of authentic Broadway recreations of recent years this is in some ways the most remarkable... To listen to Gibbons's performances is to marvel afresh at his astonishing virtuosity, his rare control of the music's rhythmic vigour and his supreme relish for its melodic richness... Gershwin does not come more exhilarating than this... A unique testimony to Gershwin's genius."
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CLASSIC CD, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volume 1", April 1993
"From the opening numbers there is an immediacy freshness and infectious sense of complete confidence that will certainly take your breath away.. moving and magical - a magnificent trilogy of discs from a young lion of the keyboard."
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CD REVIEW, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volume 3", May 1994
"A treasure-house of Gershwin... there are jewels everywhere. Gibbons plays with a blend of verve, virtuosity and love that really does them justice"
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CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volumes 1 - 3", November 1995
"Wonderfully enjoyable... with irresistible rhythmic drive and sparkle, and both power and tenderness"
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BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volume 3", June 1994
"High spirited and historically informed"
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NEW YORKER, previewing NY recital debut, November 1994
"What's fun are the dare-devil interpretations by Jack Gibbons, who's got the technique to challenge the master on his own terms and a strong sense of the composer's style. There's no wonder that Gibbons is a London sensation and that his Gershwin is constantly in demand... sensationally good"
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PIANO & KEYBOARD (USA), reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volumes 1 - 2", March 1994
"Gibbons incarnates an uncanny representation of Gershwin's piano style that hasn't been heard since the glory days of Oscar Levant."
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VILLAGE VOICE, New York, previewing NY recital, October 1997
"Hours of studying Gershwin's recordings and piano-rolls have given Gibbons a brilliant feel for the maestro's own improvisations and witty interpretations of his works, and he plays them with astonishing skill. So far has Gibbons perfected his art that this was not an evening OF Gershwin but, as near as we could ever come to, an evening WITH Gershwin."
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GULF DAILY NEWS, concert review, Middle East tour, January 1994
"All of the superlatives already heaped on Volumes 1-3 of Jack Gibbons's ASV series "The Authentic George Gershwin" can be re-amassed on Volume 4. This is a splendid disc for dipping into on a regular basis. Gibbons's style of playing Gershwin strikes me as basically unimpeachable. The key to his success is that everything he does sounds very natural and unselfindulgent: he swings (but not too extravagantly), he gently strokes a favoured melody (but not gooily), he dances vigorously (but never in a keyboard-clomping way). This is a virtually perfect disc. Superbly stylish playing - a must for those following the series. Alternatives: Nothing comparable. Jack Gibbons has totally absorbed Gershwin's style."
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CLASSIC CD, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volume 4", January 1998
"Gershwin's phenomenal idiosyncratic ability at the keyboard lives on under the flashing fingers of Jack Gibbons. He's now reached Volume 4 of The Authentic Gershwin, his extraordinary series of Gershwin work transcribed and/or arranged for solo piano. A real labour of love and not a little musical scholarship - though you'd never guess it from Gibbons's infectious playing."
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CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volume 4", January 1998
"Staggering.. I can safely say that this ranks among the most exhilarating feats of pianism I've heard on disc... an Alkan interpreter of exceptional authority... Gibbons's account becomes the top recommendation here"
-
MICHAEL STEWART, GRAMOPHONE, reviewing "Alkan, the complete Etudes, Opus 39", November 1995
"Jack Gibbons' awesome technique and irresistible enthusiasm mirror Gershwin's own.. a remarkable young musician"
- WESTERN MAIL, concert review, Swansea, January 1994
"Jack Gibbons is a historian of Gershwin as well as a great pianist"
- Sheridan Morley, BBC Radio 2, July 1998
"Jack Gibbons is the Gershwin expert's Gershwin expert"
- Ned Sherrin, Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4, July, 1998
"Pianist Jack Gibbons, famed for his Gershwin recordings, turns his hand (or rather his hands, on each of which he seems to have rather more than the usual allocation of fingers!) to the devilishly difficult Etudes by Charles-Valentin Alkan. Here is a truly remarkable recording that brings together an astonishing array of pianistic pyrotechnics that worthily reflect their extraordinary composer... a fascinating introduction to a complex and compelling composer"
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BRIAN KAY, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, reviewing "Alkan, the complete Etudes, Opus 39", May 1996
"A new disc of George Gershwin, featuring the extraordinary talents of pianist Jack Gibbons, "The Authentic Gershwin", Volume One, comprises transcriptions of recordings of the composer's improvisations and piano rolls. The result is boisterous party music, whose crazy exuberance is often extraordinarily funny. Gibbons has specialised in the composer's manic solo idiom and the disc's engineer, Tony Faulkner (who has furnished superb sound), reported recently how a grinning Gibbons tossed off hours of this finger-crunched repertoire as though it were children's exercises ... Gibbons exudes such good humour that the disc will be a mandatory addition to all music-lovers' New Year's Eve revelry."
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SIMON CARGILL, YORKSHIRE POST, reviewing "The Authentic George Gershwin, Volumes 1", December 1992
"Outstanding pianist.. scintillating performance, by far the finest I have yet heard"
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EDWARD GREENFIELD, THE GUARDIAN/PENGUIN GOOD CD GUIDE, reviewing "Lambert, Rio Grande", April 1992
"The two generously filled [Alkan] discs are a spectacular triumph. This titanic volume of some of the greatest and most adventurous piano music ever written takes over two hours to play and Gibbons turns it into a thrilling experience... all the electricity of live performances."
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CLASSIC CD, reviewing "Alkan, the complete Etudes, Opus 39", September 1995
"Jack Gibbons himself is a pianist of genius, with an endearing Jimmy Stewart-like awkwardness, a charming smile and about forty hands. You don't notice this last attribute until he begins to play, and then all you can see of them is a pink blur above the keyboard. Think of one of those frenzied Hoffnung cartoons. This man can do with one piano what everyone else has to do with two of them and a full orchestra. One of the most delightful aspects of going to a Gibbons concert is that you get to spend an evening with somebody who is really enjoying entertaining you. His delight in and enthusiasm for the music is almost tangible in the haze of nervous energy that radiates from him. In between pieces, as he chats to the audience, he displays a more languid persona, full of anecdotes and humour. 'Electric' seems to be the only adjective I can think of to describe his Gershwin renditions. The music of George Gershwin is what Gibbons is most famous for playing. Mr Gibbons has recreated, from records, films and piano-rolls, a fabulous collection of Gershwin's own arrangements and improvisations, which he plays with such flair and accuracy that you could imagine him possessed by the spirit of the composer himself. Jack Gibbons' remarkable talents and enthusiasms make these performances utterly exhilarating. He is never permitted to end the evening without three or four unscheduled encores, and to watch him is comparable to being given a chance to watch, say, Fred Astaire or Gershwin himself - live - you will be watching a genius at work."
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OXFORD UNIVERSITY REVIEW SHEET, concert review, Oxford, July 1997
"Jack Gibbons is a genius. And like most genuine geniuses he doesn't need to enhance his image with mystery or posturing. A goofy grin and an engagingly modest manner catch you completely unprepared - then the music starts. By interval we were in awe, by the end of the evening I felt like Salieri in the presence of Mozart. If you believe in reincarnation, Jack is George Gershwin. We were treated to a wonderfully generous helping, plus a stream of anecdotes and illustrations which greatly enhanced the fun of re-discovering Gershwin - music that belonged in my Dad's old collection of 78s. Here it was, recreated in shimmering harmonies and dazzling rhythms, with that uninhibited inventiveness that transforms even the most foot-tapping of Gershwin's tunes into wildly creative, ground-breaking originals. By the last part of the concert I just knew that Rhapsody in Blue was going to produce goose bumps. I was right. It was almost scary."
- ZIMBABWE UPBEAT MAGAZINE, concert review, Zimbabwe, February 1997
"As I listened, enthralled, to his glorious playing – now melting, now almost terrifying in its ferocity there flashed across my mind that much quoted remark of Schumann's concerning Chopin: 'Hats off, gentlemen, genius. 'Surely there was more than a touch of genius in Jack Gibbons... In Rhapsody in Blue the piano became a whole orchestra in power and sonority. The effect was overwhelming"
- CROYDON ADVERTISER, concert review, Fairfield Halls, September 1995
"Like a magician, Gibbons brought everything under his dominant spell. He won a rapturous ovation from the audience for playing that demonstrated a formidable technique, true musicianship and sheer poetry.. In Rhapsody in Blue, the highlight of the concert, the spell-binding performance of Gershwin's masterpiece made a magnificent end to an exciting evening."
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OXFORD TIMES, concert review, March 1995
"Playing George Gershwin's complex piano rolls and recordings takes a remarkable pianist. And Jack Gibbons is a remarkable pianist. Mr Gibbons's ability to establish a rapport with his audience, coupled with a technique and command of Gershwin's art, is awe-inspiring. Gershwin was one of the few contemporary composers to switch successfully between song-writing and classical compositions. Mr Gibbons's arrangement of Cuban Overture was outstanding while Prelude No.2 was profoundly moving. Rhapsody in Blue was played with such generous depth of feeling and understanding of the work that it was hard to imagine that Gibbons was not born to play Gershwin. Mr Gibbons's visible enjoyment of the work and insatiable energy kept his audience captivated throughout. It's not often that you see an encore midway through the second half, but the audience demanded, and was given, two brilliant versions of I Got Rhythm. Who could ask for anything more?"
- OXFORD MAIL, concert review, March, 1995
"Awe-inspiring… not only does he possess both the stamina and a technique prodigious enough to master everything the music requires, but he scrupulously respects Alkan’s own insistence on clarity, precision and control in this most hugely romantic of music."
- THE TIMES, concert review, Alkan Etudes Opus 39 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, February, 1996
"Charles-Valentin Alkan, the reclusive, misanthropic Romantic composer's prolific and prolix output holds many attractions and challenges for fearless super-virtuoso types. Gibbons plunges head first into the treacherous writing with dashing brio and a titanic, exuberant sense of flow. Even when Gibbons' formidable fingers are pushed to their limits, such as the repeated notes in the Concerto's first movement, nothing ever sounds forced. His playing is constantly vibrant and alive, and communicates a physical joy in his instrument one rarely experiences with modern recordings. These generously filled discs constitute a major release, and should be heard by anyone with the slightest interest in this most intriguing of all neglected nineteenth century figures."
- CLASSICAL NET MUSIC REVIEWS, reviewing "Alkan, the complete Etudes, Opus 39", 1996 


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