Tim Lyddon

Blues Piano, Commercial Music, Jazz Composition, Jazz Piano, Piano, Pop Piano


Pianist/composer Tim Lyddon describes his approach to music as "...uncompromised, what I feel from the heart, drawn from my life's experiences

Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett along with impressionism and introspection are key influences and elements in his approach. Tim began studying piano at nine years old, but took a serious interest in jazz three years later after his family moved to California.Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and Bud Powell were his first influences in developing his own natural swing feel. Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Jarrett and Evans soon followed. A serious and dedicated student, he studied with Charlie Shoemake and Terry Trotter, and after a two year stint in Las Vegas, he returned to Los Angeles and immersed himself in the jazz scene playing with great musicians such as Dick Berk, Chuck Flores, Sam Most, Bob Summers and Kim Richmond as well as leading his own trio.He recorded two trio projects and also recorded two albums with Stan Kenton trombonist Ray Weigand, as well as various television and movie scores.

After studying classical piano on scholarship with Milton Stern, Tim studied composition and arranging with Spud Murphy, who also taught such luminaries as Oscar Peterson, Gerald Wiggins and Bennie Maupin.

Receiving a scholarship from Manhattan School of Music, Tim moved to New York to continue his studies with Byard and Harold Danko, and teaching as well.

Tim has recorded and performed extensively since 1979. Lyddon's most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format. Starting in 1988, his group released 2 recordings on the Essence jazz label entitled Trio music and Trio music2. His first record for Essence, trio music was released in September 1985. After three rewarding years with Jack Ranelli playing in Lyddon's regular trio, drummer Kendall Kay joined bassist Darek Oles in the band in 1988. The label released another album from the Tim Lyddon, trio music, volume 2 in 1990.

He's performed regularly with his own trio in New York and around the East coast and Asia. In addition to bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Scott Latzky, his trio has also included bassists Tony Marino, Scott Lee and Steve La Spina, and drummers Eliot Zigmund, Jeff Hirschfeld and Tom Rainey.

Since 2010, with his trio and as a solo pianist. In Japan, Tim played at several venues and recorded two videos-"Live in Akasaka" volume 1 (2009) and volume 2 (2015) with Yuma takagi (bass) and Akira Yamada on drums His performances convey a wide range of expression. He has attracted a decent following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance.

Has led his trio at at:

Birdland NYC, Sweet Basil NYC, Kavehaz NYC, Knitting Factory NYC, Cornelia St. Cafe NYC, Detour NYC, The Deerhead Inn PA, The Priory New Jersey,.. Dontes Los Angeles, The Baked Potato Los Angeles, Alfonses Hollywood, Calif, Jax Glendale, California,Catalina's Bar and Grill Hollywood, California The Jazz Loft San Diego, Calif., Cezanne Houston, Texas, The Magnolia Hotel Houston, Bb jazz club Tokyo, Japan, Someday Tokyo, Japan, Jazz Bar Independence Tokyo, Japan, Jazz Spot J Tokyo, Japan, Absolute blue Tokyo Japan, No Black Tie Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sacred Grounds Coffee House .. Scottsdale Arizona, Phillipines jazz festival, Galveston jazz festival

. In 2000 Essence jazz released "I've Traveled So Far", the highly anticipated followup along with "Shades of People" in 2005. These were both trio outings (nyc) with long time associates bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Scott Latzky. These were both critically acclaimed works. Dan Karcher of WBGO called "traveled", the best trio cd in recent years"

It offers eight originals and two standards that brilliantly display Tim's highly personal approach to improvisation - a style that one of his former teachers, the legendary Jaki Byard said "shows the depth of an exceptionally mature musician". The Byard influence is quite apparent on the album's closer, a delightful solo piano excursion on the Burke-Van Heusen classic I Thought About You that incorporates many elements of the jazz piano tradition.

But it's Lyddon's original compositions that display the full breadth of his exceptional talent.

"I draw on a combination of elements from many styles of music, but always holding onto the art of swing."

Driven by dense, linear harmonic shapes, Tim's compositions constantly seek resolution, going in exhilarating and surprising directions underneath a very singing lyrical melody. Although the music is complex in harmony and form, the trio keeps things simple and understated with a subtle sense of nuance.

Even on pieces like the percussively grooving title cut and the adventurously conceived, driving blues, What Time Is It?, the sensitive interplay between piano, bass and drums is always the prime directive,

Tim couldn't ask for better or more sensitive support from bass and drums than he receives here. Hubbard's subtly shaded but rock solid bass work and Latzky's deft, light touch (often just using brushes) never overplay, and in Tim's words "provide a solid foundation from which the piano can lay its impressionistic colors like a floating blanket."

In 2005 Essence released 'Shades of People". Reminiscent of pianist Keith jarrett, says Dan Karcher. "All three musicians come together again as one entity that reveals how dynamic an entity can be"

He is firstly an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he is also a composer brewing in the impressionistic realms of Ravel and Debussy. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of his musical thought serves as an expression. Each tune has a strongly felt narrative , whether it expresses itself in a beginning, an end, or something left intentionally open-ended. The two sides of Lyddons' personality, the improviser and the composer play off each other, and the effect is often something like controlled chaos.

In addition to his trio and solo projects, Lyddon has worked with a number of great jazz musicians, including Darek Oles, Chuck Flores, Dick Berk, Sam Most, Eliot Zigmond,Bill Goodwin,Tony Moreno, Jeff Hirshfield etc.

Lyddon also has played on a number of recordings outside of the jazz idiom, like His music has appeared in several movies, including "The laughing man" and "Oceanus"

Discography: As a Leader/Solo: trio music(1985) trio music (volume 2),(1988), I've Traveled So Far (2000), Shades of People (2005) Live in Akasaka vol. 1&2(tokyo) 2009, Live in Akasaka vol. 3&4(tokyo) 2015 As a sideman: Love Sounds- Roy Wiegand, Home Again- Roy Wiegand,Flight into Fantasy(1987)- Richard Maloof, Waiting on the flame(1994) -John French, Kundalini Beat(2007)- Dev Suroop, Born to Fly(2008)- Simone Awhin

And has performed with on bass:

Scott Lee, Steve Laspina, Tom Hubbard, Tony Marino, Harvey Newmark,Bob Magnusson,Darek Oles, Juini Booth, Jeff Berlin, John Clayton, Putter Smith, Martin Wind, John Hebert, Scott Colley, Monty Budwig, Richard Maloof

On drums:

Chuck Flores,Dick Berk, Eliot Zigmund, Scott Latzky, Jeff Hirschfield, Jeff Hamilton, Billy Mintz, Tony Moreno, Bill Goodwin,Tom Rainey, John Hollenbeck, Jack Ranelli, John French


Bob Summers, Carl Saunders,Roy Wiegand, Andy Martin, Bill Watrous, Ray Lynn


Kim Richmond, Sam Most, Bobby Millitello,Gary Foster, Bob Shepherd, Ralph LaLama, Gordon Brisker,


Herb Jeffries, Dennis Rowland, Mariette Hartley, Supremes, Brenda Vaccaro, Al Wilson, JC Parish, Paul Delicato.

My style of teaching is quite open. I try to listen for what the student needs and fill the gaps. If they are a beginner at jazz, then I take them at a comfortable pace. Some students are faster than others and some are willing to do more and move at a slower pace. Some students like to direct the show. thats also ok to an extent. Thats acceptable as long as they are still making progress. 

I teach the basics and have the student learn scales and chords through the cycle of 5ths. This then continues into chord voicings and then using the voicings in tunes. I also teach comping or accompanying. 

Regarding improvisation, at first I have the student using the blues scale and the C major scale. I have som easier tunes in C major. there, we also use arpeggios and scales or modes. I make sure the student is swinging the eighth notes. From there, we learn how to solo on the II V I progression and also using altered scales. I cover everything and its very in depth.

Education:    Masters of Music, in Jazz Studies, August  1993 – May 2005                                                       

Manhattan School of Music, New York, New York                                                                       

 Bachelors of Music, in Classical Piano, 1983 - 1989                                                                       

California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California                            

Teachers:    Charlie Shoemake, jazz improv, vibist with George Shearing

Terry Trotter, classical and jazz/studio piano, pianist with Larry Carlton, Natalie Cole

Lyle (Spud) Murphy, Arranging, arranger for Benny Goodman, created a modern system of composition

Clare Fischer, Arranger, pianist, grammy award winner

Jaki Byard, jazz piano icon, played with Eric Dolphy and Mingus, recorded for prestige records

Harold Danko, jazz piano, head of jazz dept. at the Eastman school of music, played with Chet Baker

Milton Stern, classical piano, Cal State LA

Awards:    2nd place jazz combo, 1975 Quartz Hill High School, Los Angeles battle of the bands

 Piano Scholarship, 1983-1989 Cal State Los Angeles

Most dedicated student, Charlie Shoemake, 1982

Full Scholarship, Manhattan School of Music, 1993-1995

Teaching Experience:

Jazz Instructor at the Manhattan School of Music, 1993-1995                                            

Responsiblities:   Directed Jazz Combos, chose repeitoire and prepared musicians for jazz concerts                                                                   

Taught  jazz improvisation, theory, and piano minor classes                                                                

Jazz Instructor, Musician's Institute of Technology, Hollywood, California, 1984-1993                                                                      

Responsibilities:  Assisted with the jazz big band and jazz combos. Taught jazz improvisation, and theory classes                                                                 

Private piano and improvisation teacher,  1974 - present                                                                       

Responsibilities:  Taught private piano, jazz piano and improvisation( on all instruments) lessons. Also groups

Tim Lyddon Trio

Performance:   Raffles/Fairmont 2013-2014(solo), Phillipines jazz festival, La Cuisine, Charlies, Skarlets, NoBlackTie, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Phillipines (2009 - 2011), Phillipines' jazz festival (2009), Tokyo, Akasaka Bb club, Someday, Jazz Spot J, Tokyo 2008), Sacred Grounds jazz Coffee house, Phoenix, Arizona (2005-2007), Headliner at the Galveston jazz festival, and Houston Church jazz festival (2004), Cezzane Jazz Club (2004), Houston, Texas

Houston, TX.   2017- Eddie Vs and various Hotel dates

Tokyo, Japan    2009 and 2017 - jazz Spot j, Some day, ATRAIN, Bb Akasaka clubs

New York City:   Birdland, (1995 - 1998), Cornelia St. Cafe, Knitting Factory, Kavehoz, Detour (1998 - 2004), Sweet Basil (2003), Deerhead Inn, PA (2000-2003), Priory Jazz Club, NJ (2001-2003) With: Bill Goodwin, Eliot Zigmund, Tony Moreno, Jeff Hirschfield (Drums) and Steve Laspina, Scott Lee (bass).                              Los Angeles:   Dontes' Jazz Club, Lunaria, Jax, Baked Potato, Bluenote, ( Bakersfield)  1984 - 1993, Diego Jazz Loft, (1990) with Sam Most, (San Diego, Calif.)         Las Vegas:  Silverbird, Silver City, Jerry Lewis Telethon, Union Plaza with singer paul Delicato, 1979 - 19

Discography:  Kundalini beat, Dev Suroop Kaur, 2007                                               

Shades of People, Tim Lyddon trio 2004

I've Traveled So Far, Tim Lyddon trio 2001

Home Alone, Roy Wiegand ( trombonist with Stan Kenton band), 1987

Love Sounds, Roy Wiegand, Al Dimeola, 1986

Waiting on the Flame, John French, Drummer for Captain Beefheart, 1994

I teach a varied and complete approach to jazz piano encompassing all styles and influences from Art Tatum to Brad Meldhau. We look at solos and tunes, breaking down the harmonic and melodic structures. Drawing from my teachers, I use ideas that I studied from Jaki Byard on Errol Garner and Art Tatum. From Harold Danko, modal concepts which Chick Corea used. From Charlie Shoemake, Straight ahead jazz soloing and chord voicings. From Lyle Murphy, jazz composition and harmony which influenced Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Oscar Peterson who also was a student. Studio piano and the art of playing a ballad from Terry Trotter.

We take a close look at reharmonization studying Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett

Using all of these influences, I carefully watch students to see if they are swinging and using correct musicianship including rhythmic precision.

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