“Pianist Steven Schoenberg, more than any other similar player, creates improvised interpretations of known music in such a way as to inform the listener while never falling into rote technical performance. He always provides something to listen for in old melodies. There is ample evidence of this on Schoenberg’s previous recordings: 2009’s Improvisational Journey (Quabbin Records) and Christmas Reimagined (Sonic Veil, 2014). For What’s Goin On: Solo Piano, the pianist chooses 11 selections from the last century (with an emphasis on the popular music of the late ’60s and early ’70s to have a deeper improvisational look at. Schoenberg infuses each improvisation with a personality equal to the original intention. He plays Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence” like a John Field Nocturne while taking “You are My Sunshine” into Roosevelt Sykes’ barrelhouse. “Here Comes the Sun” is full of nuts and berries while “Down by The Riverside/Peace Train” smell of a clapboard country church. This is a recording in the spirit of America!”

– Michael C. Bailey