David Cieri and his music are a perfect fit in our creative family. He is fearless on the piano. He is a combination of virtuosity, sensitivity and curiosity - discovering new ways to express complex emotion through music - which is the backbone of our films. David Cieri is a true artist.
Cieri delivers really beautiful moods and strong playing all around...its real music, not trapped by boxes, definitions, genres or styles... it creates its own style...honest, imaginative, fearless...
David Cieri's score for Booker's Place - A Mississippi Story selected for Oscar nomination contention 2013.
Academy of Arts and Sciences
Pianist David Cieri improvises to the action on screen (In Collaboration with visual artist Marcel Dzama and his film LOTUS EATERS), delivering one of the most poignant aesthetic experiences currently available in Chelsea.
The New York Times
David is an extremely talented composer and performer.
Oscar Nominated Director - Marshall Curry
We have collaborated with countless musicians whose work is featured in all of our documentary films, but after encountering David’s skills we both agree that he is one of the most talented pianists, if not THE most talented and unique pianist we have ever had the privilege of working with.
Erik Ewers and Paul Barnes of Ken Burns’ Florentine Films
David has something to say. He is a good pianist who goes his own way and doesn’t always take the audience with him. This is the price that sometimes comes with performing your own improvisational music.
Jeffrey James, International Composer
Carnegie Hall 2011 Review
i - Italy
Composer David Cieri performed his original improvised music at Carnegie Hall. These interesting keyboard rambles hint at many contemporary and classical influences and use some extended techniques inside the piano. He shows flashes of real wit and good organizational and musical imagination.
Jeffrey James, International Composer • 2010
Carnegie Hall 2010 Review
Though very different in instrumentation, tone, and tempera-ment, both these recordings skirt the edges of improvised and Classical music. Pianist Cieri commences Ten Truths About East & West with a spare meditation, “dream, passing,” a chorale that lets its notes ring in the air. Is this improvised or composed? A little of each? Does it matter? Not much to me. What matters is the way Cieri’s touch brings out the piano’s resonance, and lets the form of each piece slowly emerge. He follows this with a joyously bluesy“close your eyes,” with a Jazz-inflected vamp. “The truth about new york” also explores Blues tonality, but this grows from a smear of descending scale, and includes a brief barrelhouse trill followed bya tumbling thump. “My friend is gone” is a hymn at once sad, witha shade of gospel-influenced hope. “Rushes” is an exploration ofcthe piano’s more bell-like textures. “Margaret and eugene after the war”—a reference to Paul Simon’s “Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War” maybe?—is a stately haunting theme full of chiming high strings and insistent soft repeated notes beforeit expands into song. And he turns Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” on its ear.The closing “huzun” could be a lost piece of late romantic piano lit-erature. He suspends the final note in the air, letting it fade. A fitting end to an evocative piano session.
Cadence Magazine • November 2010
Very few albums by little known artists make the striking impression of The Goat and The Violin. The nicely designed recording tells nothing about the music or the players, but David Cieri, who matured musically in Boulder, Colorado, in the late 1990s through several local Jazz and rock groups, brings together a diverse group to present a mix of beautiful melodies and eerily nightmarish sounds. Cieri incorporates multiple influences, with an undercurrent of pure, simple sound on many of the pieces. For example, on the very slow "Jack R. Dymond, Discoverer of Rare Life Forms at the Sea Bottom," Cieri selects his notes carefully and gently, switching course and ending with scratchy atmospherics. This a polished recording, with great attention to detail, and while there is some fine Jazz piano from Cieri, it is the diversity of effects, the nuances, and the impressively clever arrangements that make this something special. As a pianist, Cieri is a minimalist who picks his notes carefully, sometimes producing a shimmering beauty, as on the lovely "Margaret and Eugene After the War," while on "Daniel" he produces simple, gorgeous harmonies while the drums and bass ripple with energy underneath. Ngozi" combines a country twang with an Eastern spaciousness, as the strings of what must be either the guitar or Dobro resonate. Chris Speed, the only well-known performer on the album, offers his virtuosic swinging clarinet on a beautiful, unhurried performance of "The Goat and the Violin," which is followed by "Science Times," with Cody Geil’s mournful violin and Cieri’s deliberate, syncopated piano and ending with the intertwin- ing of Geil and the siren-like vocals of Jessica Goodkin, a longtime collaborator of Cieri. Goodkin’s stunning voice is also put to wonderful effect on "Armistice Day," along with the very pretty cello of Indigo Ruth-Davis and Cieri’s piano. "Prayer for Sam" is unsurprisingly gently gospelized (to cite David S. Ware), with Dan Brantdagen’s haunting voice-like flugelhorn. The album ends with "By Ourselves," solo piano brood-ing and dark leading to an opening of hope. With influences as diverse as John Law and Marilyn Crispell, David Cieri has made an important contribution with The Goat and the Violin, showing that dramatically reducing intensity and velocity can be effective, compelling, and creative techniques for creative expression.
Cadence Magazine • 2007
The music has a laid-back attitude, the kind only great musicians can achieve. Keys guru Dave Cieri, formerly of Chief Broom, shows up all over the album, playing organ, piano and accordion.
Boulder Weekly • Review of Reed Foehl’s recording Stoned Beautiful
When it comes to the elusive spirit of jazz (past and present), colorful Colfax watering hole Dulcinea’s is one swinging primate. Taking pains to stock the jukebox with both legends (from Coltrane to Miles, Monk to Holiday) and newer members of the genre (Charlie Hunter, Norah Jones), the Monkey covers a lot of ground. It’s an invitingly relaxed setting, too, with comfortable couches, tasteful murals, vintage black-and-white photos, an old-school bar, and a dart room and pool table for more sporting jazz cats. Live music is a blend of local talent, including keyboardist Dave Cieri and soul crooner Jessica Goodkin, and traveling acts, such as the Willie Waldman Project and the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Once a month, catch the Progressive Sessions, during which the hottest local jazz players stretch it all out. Get ready for a fresh take on a venerable tradition.
Westword • Voted Best Denver Jazz Club 2004
He emanates a low-key though undeniable musical leadership. People who work with him, including club owners and bar staff, speak reverentially of him. Anecdotes of his unique and dedicated approach to his craft include the time Dulcinea’s doorman Aaron Reyes witnessed an hour-long solo rehearsal during which Cieri undertook an exercise that consisted of playing the same two notes, a half-step apart, slowly and repeatedly. Reyes, an avid musician himself, was impressed.
"Notes are composed of multiple overtones," Cieri explains. "And when you’re playing a solo, those notes go zipping by almost unheard. But when you isolate them and really listen to them, to their fullness, you get a much deeper understanding of them. And by really taking them in and listening closely, you can get a better handle of their full range of possibilities."
Despite such rarefied and intellectual maunderings, Cieri is known for his aggressive approach to soloing, at times hitting the keyboard with staccato chops that elicit an atonal torrent of sound. The results can be slightly cacophonous, but they work. When Cieri’s on, it’s as if he is channeling the ghost of jazzmen past, near the edge of trance, though he claims to be very much in the present during these moments.
Westword • Interview 2004
Originally DJ Logic was going to be by himself at Dulcinea's tonight, now he will be spinning the first set with local keyboard wizard David Cieri. Should be an awesome night.
Colorado Spread • 2004
Dulcinea, what did we do before you were born? Stellar live jazz, blues and funk blare -- or sometimes ooze -- from this Colfax lair six nights a week. A laid-back, hip Capitol Hill crowd helps give Dulcinea’s the pervasive feeling of comfort; there’s no pretension, just casual cool among the clusters of grungy-yet-comfy sofas and sturdy coffee tables. With older siblings Sancho’s Broken Arrow and Quixote’s True Blue guiding her way, Dulcinea has already turned into a beautiful lady.
Westword • Voted Best Denver Jazz Club 2003
The virtuous fingers of the keyboard player are enough to make you stop dancing in order to witness what happens to somebody when the music completely entrances them...
Boulder Planet • 1997
At first listen, Chief Broom’s visceral folk-rock eclecticism recalls the rootsy piano work of Widespread Panic.
The Onion • 1997
The group’s approach is rooted in Cieri’s fine piano playing.
Westword • 1997