Louis Landon is a Steinway Artist, formerly of New York and currently of Sedona, who has dedicated his life to music. His passion is for peace. His career has taken him around the world playing a variety of styles with some of the most recognized names in the enter-tainment industry: classical music for Mikhail Baryshnikov on national and international tours, Latin music with “Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers” on national and international tours, pop music with Rupert “Pina Colada Song” Holmes on television and national tours, rock & roll with John Hall, opening for “Little Feat” on national tours. For the past 24 years, through his production company, Landon Music, he has written and produced music for film,video, and commercials, including three years of “best plays” and “bloopers” commercials for the National Basketball Association.
Louis Landon is currently working with three missions:
1. To create a more loving and peaceful world by writing, recording and performing, music from the heart.
2. To inspire people to live joyously and passionately.
3. To awaken and to assist people in healing themselves through music and mentoring.
He has released 20 CDs on the LCI record label, his latest entitled Ebb and Flow – Solo Piano was released on April 4th, 2016.
The life of a working musician and recording artist requires one to wear many hats to measure even a modicum of success. Essential elements that have played deftly into the hands of solo pianist, Louis Landon include diplomat, humorist, entrepreneur, technician, visionary, politician, philosopher, activist, and artisan. A well-rounded, magnetic personality combined with an obvious gift for performing a variety of musical styles opened the door for Landon to tour extensively for three decades nationally and internationally.
Growing up in a creative household where entertainment was center stage, Landon was born in Yonkers, New York, and his family relocated to Studio City, California in 1960. Landon’s dad is Leo De Lyon, the voice actor best known as Brain and Spook in the popular television cartoon, Top Cat. In the 1970s Leo was the musical director for several popular music attractions of the day including the popular singing duo, Sandler and Young. Through his dad’s friendships and professional associations, Louis grew up having Sunday dinners with Phil Silvers, or going backstage to meet stars such as Nat King Cole and Dion.
Louis began his musical career at age four playing piano in the classical tradition. His parents decided to give him lessons after Louis came home from seeing the movie, “Around The World in 80 Days” then sat down at his dad’s upright piano and played the movie’s theme from memory!
Like so many others who studied music exactly the same way with traditional methods, after nine years, Landon, who lived in southern California by this time, ditched the piano and his teacher in favor of applying what he knew about music and taught himself a thing or two by listening to contemporary music of the mid-1960s. He picked up an electric guitar and played along with unwitting teachers like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and B. B. King.
By the early 1970s, the influence of Chick Corea’s “Light as a Feather” swayed Landon’s attention from studies at Stony Brook University in the direction of Berklee College of Music, the world’s premier institution for the study of contemporary music. Landon switched back to the piano and studied jazz. Practicing eight hours a day, and jamming every night with a variety of musicians around Boston, resulted in Landon meeting the legendary saxophonist John Payne, most notable for performances with Bonnie Raitt and Van Morrison.
Landon, toured with Payne for three years, and recorded four albums. The John Payne band had a jazz fusion sound incorporating several eclectic styles. Ultimately, this group would come to be known as a pioneer in jazz fusion and smooth jazz preceding Spiro Gyra, the group best known for this style music.
Once again, DownBeat wrote a favorable review. “Arista Freedom has over the last year successfully established itself as one of the most adventurous avant garde recording projects in recent history. Largely overlooked are two fine young bands who tend toward a fusion of jazz and rock and have primarily been working the jazz end of the spectrum. These groups are New York Mary and the John Payne Band…The band has definitely improved since its maiden voyage….Lolita a [Landon] original is a tough lean line……[Landon’s] Sounds From The Sea’s Edge is a programmatic seascape.” The title track, “[Landon’s] The Razor’s Edge, is a surging backdrop of synthesized and percussive accents, underscoring Payne’s electronically processed arabesques”.
Landon left Boston for Manhattan, forming a jazz fusion band called Nightfire, while tangentially doing studio work and freelancing around Gotham City, until the late 1970s when he auditioned for and landed the gig as keyboard player for the John Hall Band.
Hall had played with a who’s who of rock icons and co-founded Musicians United for Safe Energy. Landon’s association playing with Hall included performances with Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, and Nash to name just a few in the No Nukes concerts in Madison Square Garden in 1979 before hundreds of thousands of people. The same year Landon appeared on Hall’s LP, titled Power (Columbia Records). Landon appeared on the benefit album No Nukes and a film by the same name, both of which were released in 1980. Soon thereafter, Landon began touring with Rupert Holmes, the composer of the ubiquitous pop hit, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).”
Back home in New York, Landon took a job with Ross Enterprises producing music for film, television, and video. He directed “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” and other TV specials that starred Maureen McGovern and Tony Bennett. During the summer months for the next four years, he was touring again, playing classical music for ballet legend, Mikhail Baryshnikov.
In 2005 Landon took a collection of original instrumental pieces to Ackerman who provided sequencing and production advice, and Ackerman’s chief engineer, Corin Nelsen edited and mastered unwind, Landon’s first solo piano release.
Keyboard Magazine said in a 2006 review, unwind is melodic, optimistic, and peaceful. This solo piano album is indeed meditative and mellow, [and] it sacrifices no musical rigor to achieve those ends. With backgrounds in jazz, Latin music, rock, pop, film composing, and classical piano Louis brings his breadth and depth of experience to bear here. His playing and compositions are sensitive as they are complex and, a diverse range of influences is more than apparent.”
Among the other titles is “Her Eyes” a remake of his original standout “Behind Her Eyes” on John Payne’s debut LP. This CD rose to No. 3 on the Top 100 New Age charts and was nominated for Best Solo CD of 2006 in the New Age Reporter Lifestyle Awards. It also received a nod for Best Cover Art from New Age Reporter Lifestyle Awards.
Peace Revolution! was Landon’s sophomore solo offering which debuted in the Top 10 slot on radio charts and stayed in the Top 10 for three consecutive months. This CD remained on the Top 100 ambient/world/new age charts for several months into 2008.
Anne Williams of New Age Retailer writes, “Landon’s jazz sensibilities make this so much more than a typical solo piano album. Filled with strong melodies and great dynamics, this music lifts the listener up to where the body can relax and the spirit can soar. Peace Revolution! is an inspiring gem of an album.”
In April of 2009. Solo Piano for Peace was nominated for the 2009 ZMR Music Awards in three categories: Album of the Year, Best Instrumental Album – Piano, and Best Cover Art. It was also voted #30 of Top 100 Albums for radio play for 2009. Kathy Parson’s of MainlyPiano.com had this to say about Solo Piano for Peace. I have thoroughly enjoyed Louis Landon’s previous two solo piano recordings, but Solo Piano For Peace is my favorite of the three. Very best wishes to Louis in his noble quest, and may his music touch enough hearts to help make peace a reality!
In 2010, Landon released his fourth solo piano CD, Solo Piano for Love, Peace & Mermaids. Mermaids contained tracks based on some of his Improvs for Peace as well as some original compositions. It was nominated for Album of the Year at Whisperingssolopianoradio.