[Norm Zamcheck, The Real Stormin’ Norman, is a college classmate who I knew only by reputation during our bright college years on campus. In recent years I’ve come to know him from participation in alumni events. The information in this post is lifted, with permission, from his website realstorminnormanband.com. There’s also plenty of good material to mine on YouTube.com. SB SM]
Pianist-composer, Norm Zamcheck is the ring leader of NYC’s most electrifying and eccentric musical collaborations; Real Stormin Norman. Real Stormin Norman is driven by Norm’s timeless pianistic style rooted in the jazz of New Orleans, boogie-woogie blues, with shades of Latin influence. Simultaneously current and nostalgic, the music is a wholly unique sound. Real Stormin Norman is fronted by the thundering vocals of Genevieve Faivre and features a stellar group of sidemen, including rising jazz superstar Jonathan Saraga (trumpet and arrangements), Russian bass master Arthur Sadowsky and drummer Tobias Ralph, who is acclaimed as “one of the best drummers in America” by Drummers World. Real Stormin Norman calls New York City home and is currently touring “Euphoria” around the Big Apple.
“Raised around Boston I lived a double life, first as a perfect little Yankee boy, destined for the best schools, ivy college and a profession in either medicine or law or, alternatively, as a piano player living his fantasy while endlessly composing songs about scary eagles leaping from gaslights, beautiful young girls floating down the “Chilly Charles,” blissful fish, and redwing blackbirds. Somewhere I stumbled on an old boogie woogie book & started emulating the styles of Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, and Pinetop Perkins. My fine old German piano teacher became enraged whenever he detected a bluesy riff. He slammed the piano cover down so fast I had to pull my fingers out of the way, yelling “you VILL sphepnd your lifetime in a Barrr (growl )room if you play that way!!” Which, curiously, is what I ended up doing for many years.
“But, as an intensely introverted and shy kid, I never imagined I would bring my songs out into the world until I had a strange visitation from two kindly ghosts, spirits of elderly piano teachers who had lived in the shabby townhouse in Boston where, as the world’s most miserable law student, I boarded. One night I stumbled home, dropped my heavy bundle of books, and fell asleep on a frayed, velvet sofa in the 19th century living room. They came to me in a dream, telling me ”Norman you must devote your life to music. Forget all this other nonsense. Making songs is your destiny Run up to the piano now!.” I can still hear their voices.”
[Norm Zamcheck is not to be confused with the other Stormin’ Norman … Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., who commanded Operation Desert Storm, but who was all thumbs on the keyboard. SB SM]