Stefán Dickerson's debut album for Heads Up is a perfectly titled, vibrant and diverse collection. It weaves themes of true love and romance through stylistic excursions into Dickerson's Brazilian, classical, jazz and pop musical personae.
"My goal is to create a real identity as an artist, to show where I'm coming from, weaving into the thematic fabric the passion I have for all the elements I present," says Dickerson of Románza. The recording features brilliant performances by the all-star cast of Abraham Laboriel (bass), Alex Acuña (drums and percussion), Dori Caymmi (acoustic guitar and vocals), Ernie Watts (sax), Bob Sheppard (sax), Sal Marquez (trumpet), Harvey Mason (drums and percussion), and a full string orchestra.
"As diverse as Románza is," Dickerson continues, "I never feel like it's scattered because it perfectly captures who I am, it's all very melodic, and I allow my piano to permeate all of the elements and wrap what I consider its love around the music. I've saturated the album with different aspects of myself. It's all about translating what you feel in your music to the work you do. I tried to express that kind of artistic integrity, while still maintaining commercial contemporary appeal." The legendary Hollywood composer Johnny Mandel describes Dickerson's elegant piano approach and magnificent original compositions as "the ultimate warm bath." That indelible warmth radiates through from the first cut of Románza.