The CD Piercing The Heart
is mixture of standard ballads and popular Broadway show tunes. Mutchler chose these songs as a result of requests from the audiences that have heard him play over the years. Jon started piano lessons at the age of 6 with Nadean Clarke of Bremerton, Washington. He played piano in Jazz band in Junior and Senior High school and began playing professionally in a Club Band "Impressions" when he was 16. He credits his father, the late Jazz Educator Dr. Ralph Mutchler for his initial love of jazz and introduction to the great jazz music of previous generations. Jon is proficient in all styles of piano playing and has earned a bachelors degree in both jazz and classical studies with Ford Hill.
This CD feels like being backstage before a musical with each performer singing snatches of their favorite show tune to warm up. From the melancholy favorites like Nadia's Theme, Memory, Send In The Clowns,
and Moon River
, to the sweet and wistful Edelweiss
, and the romantic When I Fall In Love
; There's something here for everyone. Mutchler says his interpretation is deliberately straight with little improvisation so the music can be more accessible, while at the same time stretching the listener. I like these cuts, because they are so familiar and Mutchler plays them with verve, but with enough restful space to make them the perfect accompaniment to any activity, or just for relaxing and listening. It's like the white space around a well typeset poem, giving enough time for each note to resonate, before the next one replaces it. I think if you're looking for pure and simply interpreted tunes this would be an enjoyable listen.
Mutchler says that many jazz musicians disparage pop tunes, forgetting that many current jazz standards were once pop. Mutchler says the challenge for Jazz artist is to find enduring songs explore there musical potential, make them your own and "pierce the heart!"