This is a page dedicated to friends/mentors/and artists of whom Tucker wishes
to acknowledge their influence musically. This page also serves to
recognize people who have expressed
encouragement along the way. ( below written by Tucker Rountree...)
Don Menza's big band was the first jazz group I ever listened to seriously. I
was captivated by an album he made which was dedicated to Charlie Parker and
Dizzy. Even though I don't write or play big band music, I think I was drawn to
the energy and virtuosity of his playing.
Eric Johnson has been a huge influence on my ideas in music, and as a guitarist.
Songs like Trademark, 40 mile town, Song for Lynette ,Song for life, When the
sun meets the sky, will stay with you forever after one listening. I saw him for the first time when I was 13 on a PBS special featuring Texas
guitarists. I remember I was so excited, that same day I bought one of his
albums. I have been fortunate enough in recent years to know him, and he has given
me great advice and encouragement. The most important thing I learned from him
is to be yourself and never compromise your beliefs for monetary success. He has
truly raised the bar for future generations. Eric is one of the greatest
musicians I know of.
When I was in High School, I think I was 16 or so, this great pianist named Jeff
Pickett, introduced me to Pat's music. I didn't know quite what to
think after that. I went home and re-evaluated what I was playing in my
music. Pat's playing and composition style was really the template for me to
find my own sound. He made it possible for me to get into jazz, along with Eric
Johnson too, because he uses all elements of music to create something
new. One could study Pat's music for any instrument. His early ECM stuff is so
free and organic. Pat's Question & Answer album had a big effect on my
playing and thinking in Jazz altogether.
Miles' tunes were the first I learned when I was getting the standards together.
I love all his 50's and 60's albums, and his conception changed jazz
forever. He has really influenced my soloing ideas.
I love Coltrane's compositions and his unique way of hearing harmonically
the changes. I listen to his music quite a bit and it always inspires me.
Giant Steps and the way he played Afro Blue is so amazing to me.
Roland Orzabal's pop music of the 80's and 90's has somehow been
engrained in my writing. I love his songwriting, and I think he is a really
honest musician. I love Tears for Fears.
Everyone talks about the standards group that Keith Jarrett does, which I love.
The original tunes he played back in the 70's I thought were amazing. Tunes like
Lucky Southern and Spiral are so cool. Plus, I just love the approach he has to
the piano. It's different every time.
I think Wolfgang has perfect technique, and plays with great passion. Since the
first time I heard him, I wanted to emulate his tone, and style. My favorite
recording of his so far is Real Book Stories, where he does a great
version of Horace Silver's Peace and a cool version of Solar.
Wayne Shorter has influenced my composing in many ways. I like his short
form tunes, and enigmatic chord progressions. His work with Miles Davis,
and Freddie Hubbard is also great. But most of all, tunes like Fee Fi Fo Fum,
Footprints, and Witchhunt are really fun.
I could pick McLaughlin's playing out of 100 other guitarists because he has such a
distinctive sound. You always know its him. I learned some great techniques from
I am just amazed every time I hear or see Joshua Bell play and I think he plays with
vibrant style. I look up to him and the dedication he has for his art.
Brad Mehldau has been one of my biggest influences in conception, and how I try to approach
my music and playing with others. I think he has a very special way of playing
with his rhythm section, and unique comping styles.
Abercrombie has great tone and amazing songwriting styles. His ECM albums have inspired
me for years. He has such a trademark sound that comes so easily to him. He picks
great musicians to play on his recordings too.
I am a big James Taylor fan, his songs are so pure and full of life. I hope he
keeps writing for a long time. Some people have told me that my tunes sometimes
show his influence.
My dad gave me a best of Steely Dan album for my 9th birthday and you can
imagine how a 9 year old might react to that kind of music. I really loved it
from the start though. I think the tune that first hit me was Black Friday,
Walter Becker's solos blew my mind.
Hancock's earlier albums in the 60's are amazing to me. I also love the Parallel
Realities DVD with him and Pat. He really commands a quality from his piano.
I hope more people find out about Breau's contribution to Jazz and musicality in
general. He has great nuances and loads of technique and chops. He inspired my
chord melody approach. Breau is a true legend.
Hornsby's songwriting has always been inspiring to me. There is a cool album he
did called Hot House where he features a lot of great Jazz players.
And, of course, his first album I enjoy a lot as well. I think what captivates
me most about Hornsby is that he has a great original sound to his tunes. You
know right off its him. I think that's hard on the piano!
of all these players and people that have influenced me, the most profound force
in my life has been my friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I feel all
my tunes are dedicated to him in one way or another.