Reviews



~~ I've really enjoyed all the recordings I've heard from you and admire your work a great deal!  -  Laura Sullivan, Grammy® Winning Composer and Recording Artist


~~Sometimes it's the simplest pleasures in life that give us reason to smile. This collection of 10 original tunes is certainly one of them. Spanning a variety of genres --from contemporary jazz to Latin to Afro-pop-- A Reason To Smile is an engaging program of joyful music that is certain to hit listeners directly in the soul. --from the liner notes by Ed Enright, contributor to Downbeat Magazine


~~Chicago-based pianist Rob Ryndak has put out his fourth recording as a leader, A Reason to Smile, and the collection of originals on this release is quite engaging and alluring. Light and upbeat, the songs have an uncluttered feel to them, and there is enough variety between each composition to keep the intereest of any listener for numerous helpings. --George Harris, All About Jazz


~~Stay With It is meditative in its glowing, comforting arrangements and ultimately uplifting in execution and theme. --Hilarie S. Grey, JazzTimes®


~~ ~~“ Somewhere between the passionate inspiration of John Coltrane’s Bahia and Dizzy Gillespie’s years as the flag bearer for Latin Jazz is the place where you’ll find the essence of Rob Ryndak’s music. ” —Scott Adams, The Sounds of Brazil! on Chicago's 90.9 FM WDCB



~~"A Wonderful thing is full of subtle surprises, excellent writing and colorful solos ... Ryndak's most rewarding recording to date." --Scott Yanow, author of Bebop, The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film, and Jazz On Record


~~ Chicago-based pianist Rob Ryndak continues to explore an exciting mix of pop, soul, Brazilian, and other world influences in an ongoing celebration of life and rebirth…. The fun part of Ryndak's music is that it's hard to categorize from track to track -- there are the cha-cha rhythms of "The Gift of Courage," the dark strutting jazz-blues of "Blues for Emily," and the tasty Latin pop feelings of "Clare's Arrival," driven by Fishman's beautiful flute melody. Ryndak holds everything together with dynamic piano voicings that are sometimes restrained and supportive behind other instruments, and sometimes right out front. Through all the ups and downs in his life and career, it's clear that he knows the value of ensembles and letting his fellow musicians shine. That unselfish approach is A Reason to Smile as well. --Jonathan Waldran, All Music Guide Don't worry. Be happy. That's the message pianist Rob Ryndak wants you to take home with you after enjoying his vacation-filled garden of smooth delights. He pulls from bossa nova, Caribbean dance, Ghanian akom, R&B and smooth jazz to put glowing embers to rest. You'll want to sit back in some comfortable place far away from the hyperactive world, forget about working, smile, and enjoy his program of 10 original songs. --Jim Santella, A Reason To Smile review, LA Jazz Scene, January 2008 Like David Sanborn, Joe Sample, and the late Grover Washington, Jr., Rob Ryndak realizes that a jazzman can be accessible to pop and R&B audiences without prostituting himself and throwing integrity to the wind. --Alex Henderson, Stay With It review, All Music Guide There's much to enjoy with [this] album. Fresh ideas. Boundless enthusiasm and the tight melodic flow that is the hallmark of this album. And just as I alluded to earllier, in many ways Ryndak's work here reminds me of Donald Byrd's Fancy Free album (a personal favorite). The songs are finely crafted, the improvisations filled with meaning and balance, and the musicianship outstanding. How nice to have a new album, 30 years later, to rekindle those memories by proving us with new ones to enjoy. --from the Boundless liner notes by Scott Adams, Sounds of Brazil! • WDCB, Chicago In this digital age, music doesn't stand alone, Rock needs a video, jazz a theory, new age a mantra country a pun, and classical a pedigree. But this music just needs ears. Explanations won't suffice, there are no literary devices. How it sounds is what it is. Composer/pianist Rob Ryndak has put together an engaging collection of compositions that sounds ripe for radio play. His melodies tug at your ear while the grooves push at your feet. He's written tunes for fun and tunes for reflection after absorbing a world of sounds ranging from jazz to liturgical music from the Ventures to Phillip Glass.... --from the Moving Forward liner notes by Dave Helland, Jazz Journalist "Moving Forward" Title Track