On her debut recording, Love Call (Zoho) the Brooklyn native and Manhattan resident leads an all-star octet in performances of her provocative reinterpretations of jazz standards. Her collaborators include Frank Wess, Jerry Dodgion, Joe Temperley, Benny Powell and very special guest, Clark Terry. Love Call spent much of the summer of 2004 on the JazzWeek Radio chart, reaching #9 in nationwide airplay. It was on many writers’ Top Ten lists, a Cadence Magazine Editor’s Choice, and was cited by Frequency Media as “one of the best new and emerging artist releases” on their Artist Breakthough Chart. The opening track on Love Call, “Spherical” (an homage to Thelonious Monk) has recently been published in Jazz Piano Pieces to Grow On, the latest volume in the popular series from The Steinway Library of Piano Music. Other contributors to the volume are Dick Hyman, Bill Dobbins and Don Friedman.
In addition to performing her own compositions and arrangements, Stiles has been rearranging and playing the music of Mary Lou Williams in the ongoing concert series, “Mostly Mary Lou.” Ensembles have included Jeremy Pelt, Steve Wilson, Jerry Dodgion, Warren Vache, Joel Frahm, Dennis Irwin and Lewis Nash. She has presented lecture/demonstrations entitled, “Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band” and has written an analytical article, “Mary Lou Williams’ ‘Waltz Boogie’: Unity, Inflection and the Blues” which will be published in 2007 in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies (Rutgers).
Stiles’ 2nd CD, Hurley-Burley, has been recorded but not yet released. It features the beautiful and swinging work of Jeremy Pelt, Steve Wilson, Joel Frahm, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. For this sextet outing, she presents originals and re-imaginings of compositions by her major influences—the great composer-pianists, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams. The title track is subtitled “J2 to Mary Lou” and was recently performed by Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge at the Jazz Composers’ Symposium at the University of South Florida. Dave Douglas, John Clayton and Bob Brookmeyer were the guest panelists.
Joan Stiles is also active as a jazz educator. She has earned advanced degrees in both classical music and jazz, teaches at the New School and is on the full-time faculty of Manhattan of School of Music.
“swings with wit and verve, brimming with the joyous flair of a Wynton Kelly or Erroll Garner. …hauntingly beautiful arrangements." Bill Milkowski
“wonderfully talented arranger and pianist” Clark Terry
“expressive touch that evinces the influences of Monk, Duke and Erroll Garner…With her sincere musicianship and arranging savvy, Joan Stiles is a breath of fresh air.” Elliot Simon, All About Jazz-NY
“displays an amazing immersion in the art of arrangement…stellar solo playing…Stiles’ timing is perfect.” Gregory Robb, Jazz Improv Magazine
“Stiles is a skilled musical architect, dedicated to the craft of balance and dynamics, of blend and boldness. She is more than just a graceful interpreter of Mary Lou, Duke and Monk; her playing illuminated the masterpieces she made her own.”