Although he returned to Milwaukee briefly because of domestic issues, he considered the town constraining and not a good place to make his career. He has played and recorded with Jon Hendricks, Louis Hayes, and One For All. Composing, arranging and teaching are all areas Hazeltine excels in when not performing or recording. Although he is a pianist he feels more influenced by saxophonists, particularly Charlie Parker. Hazeltine, in the tradition of Parker, works within and across the constrains of bebop, and arcs toward the aesthetic of consonance rather than dissonance: reaching toward beauty in harmony, melody, rhythm and never straying too deeply from his roots, which are first and foremost Bird and Rollins, Powell and young Miles.
Although seemingly hard-line about the tradition, Hazeltine has done an impressive amount of innovation and is a gifted arranger and composer. Of particular note are his arrangements of pop tunes, which appear on most of his CDs. In fact, he is one of the few contemporary jazz musicians who continue the tradition of making contemporary tunes into "standards." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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