Seltzer circa 1960
|Associated acts||Carl Frederick Tandberg, Red Mitchell|
Stanley Wilson Seltzer (November 8, 1927 - August 1, 2000) was a jazz pianist.
He was born in Aurora, Illinois on November 8, 1927.
Stan was born musically gifted. He began studying piano at the age of four. He had a unique ability to hear something and play it back. For several years he fooled his teachers into thinking that he could read music. At some point his unique ability was discovered and he had to do intensive remedial work to learn to read music. He later remarked that it was difficult for him as a student to essentially start over again and learn to read music after several years of successful deception and progress.
Stan excelled musically to the point that he was accepted as a student of Vladimir Horowitz, the renowned Russian concert pianist. Stan said that he studied with Horowitz for about a year, remarking that Horowitz was a disciplined taskmaster, often pushing Stan to his limits and sometimes beyond. In retrospect, Stan viewed Horowitz as a brilliant pianist, and Stan’s own discipline and his quest for beyond perfection may have initially come from Horowitz. Stan later attended DePaul University in Chicago, but did not graduate.
During his early years he played many venues in the Chicago area. In 1951 Stan decided to relocate to Hollywood, California. West Coast Jazz was developing, and many musicians from well known big bands and the local movie studios would meet to play new big band arrangements. Stan often contributed arrangements and rehearsed with them. Stan worked in Los Angeles until 1954 when he relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. He played local venues in Vegas and backed many acts that passed through Vegas. In 1957 he again relocated to Los Angeles, California, which became his homeport for the rest of his musical career. It was in 1957 that he cut his first and only album on the Hi-Fi label, consisting of 12 songs. These recordings are currently accessible at * as MP3 downloads.
Stan was an easy-going person. He had the most sonorous laugh, and it was blatantly obvious that Stan was in a room when he laughed. He was devoutly serious about his music, and it was often hard for him when he had to sacrifice quality for money. In his moments of futile musical frustration, a heavy sigh and a disdain countenance would precede his often-used phrase, “the questionable rewards of mimicry.”
Stan was a consummate jazz pianist. The creativity and improvisation that jazz provided fueled him musically. Players that he held in high esteem from his own era varied, but Oscar Peterson and Charlie Parker were among his favorites along with later players like Herbie Hancock.
Stan Seltzer Album Trio 1957
In 1957 in Los Angeles, CA, Stan made his only album. It included the songs Autumn In New York, Blue Moon, Cheek To Cheek, Crissy's Blues, Easy To Love, A Foggy Day, Have You Met Miss Jones, Let's Fall In Love, Prelude To A Kiss, Speak Low, The Way You Look Tonight, and You Don't Know What Love Is *.
Ricky's Lounge, Alhambra, CA
- Stan Seltzer Album Trio (1957)
- "Stan Seltzer". Retrieved 2008-02-23.
Stan Seltzer's a great talent on the keys of the piano...
- "Ricky's Lounge". Pasadena Star-News. July 12, 1970.
Pictured from left Carl Tandberg, Paul Peters and Stan Seltzer. Tandberg marks his 13th year at club this week.
- "Ricky's Lounge". Pasadena Star-News. May 27, 1970.
Ricky's in Alhambra rolls out the red carpet for diners and the restaurant is famed for thick juicy cuts of prime ribs of beef au jus and a wide selection of other delectable entrees. The first floor includes an intimate cocktail lounge and elegant dining rooms and upstairs is the Sky Room. The glamorous nightclub atmosphere of the Sky Room is tastefully appointed ... general manager of Dick White's spacious Ricky's in Alhambra, ... He also doubles on drums with Carl Tandberg on bass and Stan Seltzer on piano. Tanberg and Seltzer are equally talented in their field and the blending of ...
- "Stan Seltzer". The Van Nuys News. August 14, 1970.
... excellent pianist Stan Seltzer who performed a noteworthy keyboard solo and drummer Ken Jennings completed the musical group. ...
- "Bass Player Marking 11th Year at Ricky's". Pasadena Star-News. April 25, 1969.
Bass player Carl F. Tandberg is an 11-year man at Dick White's Rickey's Restaurant in Alhambra and a 42-year man in the music business. ... before recording "Miserlou" with Jan August in 1945 [sic].