Richard Cameron-Wolfe, a Taos, New Mexico musician with an NPR radio program that mostly presents classical music, wrote the following excerpt from an article entitled “Confessions of a Clash-ical DJ”. Orignially published in the May, 2007 Taos, New Mexico “Daily Horse Fly” newspaper, the piece describes his experience in playing various composers’ music, and focuses in part on the phone calls received in reaction to his choices. The passage below encapsulizes the enigma inherent in attempting to categorize or label Cy Walter’s musical style:
Improvisations by the legendary cocktail jazz pianist Cy Walter followed. One heard familiar manifestations of melody, harmony, and rhythm, contrasting themes, etc., but … another phone call. Not “classical” enough for the classical connoisseurs. Problem: not jazzy enough for the jazzers. A man without a niche, without a marketing label, without a record store bin. Walter did what the great historical improvisers (Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt) had done, only his “themes” were show tunes instead of opera arias. Give a listen and see what you think, at www.cywalter.com.