WELL RICK I WOULD SAY YOU NOT ONLY ACHIEVED YOUR PURPOSE WITH THIS CD BUT SURPASSED IT! WELL RECORDED. THE PIANO SOUNDS BEAUTIFUL. YOUR TOUCH IS EXCELLENT. THE PIECES AS COMPOSITIONS ARE GREAT AND YOUR INTERPRETATIONS OF THEM ARE WONDERFUL. THE MOOD OF THE WHOLE CD IS VERY CONSISTENT. THE ONLY OTHER THING I COULD SAY IS WHAT TOOK SO LONG AND WHENS THE NEXT ONE?” - Mike Garson

— Keyboardist For David Bowie

Honest and heartfelt...reflective, spiritual sounding...love all the harmony...reminded me of a good read of short stories right up to the end...what's next??!!” - Mark Soskin

— Pianist For Sonny Rollins, Billy Cobham & Gato Barbieri

This is absolutely beautiful stuff! Very inspiring. It reminded me of the way I felt when, as a kid, I heard the Keith Jarrett Koln Concerts.” - Sim Cain

— Drummer For Rollins Band & J. Geils

This album is not due in stores until January 4, but I am going to sing its praises here in October. Surely, we can all agree that one of jazz’s greatest strengths is its versatility, the fact that an almost infinite number of subgenres can fit under the name. Cutler’s work on this, his second solo piano recording, runs more to the atmospheric jazz of the ECM label; it even touches on vintage Windham Hill new age. The results border on the hypnotic, with Cutler weaving soundscapes that by turns soothe, enthrall and always intrigue; the middle-of-the-night reflection of the title foreshadows much of the music contained therein. That impression is deepened through such tracks as “Isle of Words Forgotten,” “Charlotte’s Roads Before Her,” “Measuring Eternity,” “Indian Sunset” and “A Song You’ve Heard Before.” Don’t miss this dreamy yet dynamic album.” - Brian McCoy

— Oakland Jazz Music Examiner

f you are a fan of the piano, especially jazz piano with occasional classical touches, you will enjoy First Melancholy, Then The Night Stretch (New Dude) by musician Rick Cutler. The entire 18-song album is solo, so the listener gets a chance to hear each song executed beautifully from start to finish without interruption or interference. To be able to hear a musician play like this, adding subtle touches to his audio painting the way he does, is great. While I am not a pianist, I have always admired the sound of the piano and the way it’s played, and hearing this makes me wish I could play the instrument more than “by ear”, so to imagine his (or any musician’s) approach in songs like “Who Needs Words”, “Charlotte’s Roads Before Her”, or “Thank You (For McCoy Tyner)” is part of the listening experience. While he is a musician that plays jazz, this isn’t just a jazz album, and I think most pianists will go into this album knowing and accepting this, since it’s about the power of the musician and the instrument chosen, not the style of music (s)he performs. It’s a stand-out album, and definitely worth picking up. With 18 songs (all Cutler originals), there’s enough to feast on for a long time.”

— This Is Book's Music

Pay attention. Here's a drummer that's also a piano man that's played with everyone as well as having written the theme for "Dateline" and the Yankees for MSG Network. You know this guy's work even if you don't know him. This solo piano set sounds like a trip into Bill Evans mind after hours when he doesn't think anyone is listening. Sounding like an American ECM release, Cutler knows his stuff and how to get what he wants making this a sure bet for solo piano fans who know this is what they want. Well done.” - Chris Spector

— Midwest Record

Although First Melancholy, Then the Night Stretch is Rick Cutler’s second solo piano release, he may be best known as a percussionist/drummer, theme composer and sideman: he has worked with Liza Minnelli, Gregory Hines and written for television, film and on Broadway. However, as evidenced by this and other recordings, Cutler is a flexible artist. This 62-minute collection draws on influences such as Chick Corea – whom Cutler studied with – Keith Jarrett, Debussy and even fellow drummer Tony Williams. For the most part Cutler’s original material – he wrote all 18 tracks presented here – moves slowly in a late evening blue-mood that has a rural, pastoral and nocturnal disposition. “Charlotte’s Roads Before Her,” for example, has a folkish demeanor that evokes Aaron Copland’s Americana as well as George Winston’s landscape-oriented characteristics. This and many other pieces are evocative of other artists who have made significant impacts on Cutler’s composing and performing style. “Debussy” is of course dedicated to Claude Debussy, whose ideas on symbolism are a notable inspiration: this five-minute cut shares Debussy’s reflective and sensory work and his use of single or simple keys or pitches. A much briefer but similarly-shaded creation, “Noise (For Tony Williams),” honors the iconic drummer who was one of Cutler’s early musical heroes. Praise is also given to jazz violinist Noel Pointer during “Song for Noel,” a methodically poignant piece that blends optimism with loss. “Thank You (For McCoy Tyner)” is yet another commendation to a musical idol, where Cutler does not replicate Tyner’s tone or sensibility but rather offers an impressionistic sensitivity that alludes to Tyner’s literate personality. The darkest compositions form a three-part “Alien Landscape” suite that merges Cutler’s suggestive, minor-key improvisations with echoing wind. Each shortened section is spread amongst the other tunes: Cutler unassumingly rephrases the same brooding theme on each component, which provides both a positive thematic connection but also a negative indication of repetition. “Dance” is the most rhythmically involved performance and seems the closest in spirit to Jarrett’s modern creative muse, although definitely not nearly as breathtaking and ambitious. On “A Song You’ve Heard Before” Cutler mirrors the melodic sketches Corea recorded on his early seventies piano improvisation releases.” - Doug Simpson

— Audiophile Audition

Rick’s talent on this second CD is beyond categories… cleanly sculpted notes all the way through, firm keyboard touch and dedication to the mood being created make this a very enjoyable (& new) sonic adventure. For those who love piano...most highly recommended!! 4.97 out of 5 stars!!”

— Zzaj Productions

Rick is truly unique and this is one solid album. Hope he gets wider recognition.” - Dan Bayer

— WKAR-East Lansing, MI

From the evidence of his second CD First Melancholy, Then the Night Stretch, Rick Cutler is a pianist with a lyrical thrust, a soloist that draws upon and extends the work of Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea in that vein, with graceful ostinatos accompanying movingly expressive right hand melodizing, use of space and a quasi-classical solo style that is punctuated with exotic harmonies and reflective reveries. He is different enough that what is happening does not smack of plagiarism. It's Rick Cutler music. I'll be glad to file it over with Jarrett and Corea and Steve Kuhn, and will no doubt play it often. It's very nice to hear and a credit to Mr. Cutler's talent. Give it a spin!” - Greg Edwards

— Gapplegate Music Review

I love it totally. One of the better piano albums to come my way in ages.”

— WDVR/The Sound Alternative-Sergeantsville, NJ