top of page


"A student of both jazz and classical music, Ms. Story is a West Coast impressionist who composes and plays tuneful, song-length non-improvisational pieces that are conservative in their tonal rootedness and wide-ranging in their stylistic borrowings. One hears echoes of Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, Scott Joplin, the minimalist side of Keith Jarrett and even Joni Mitchell in her compositions. But the strongest underlying influence Ms. Story displayed at Tuesday's early show [at The Bottom Line] was that of Spanish folk and classical music. Harmonically and rhythmically, her pieces suggest the austere, formal flavor of flamenco music and its keyboard extensions in the classical jazz of Chick Corea. She gave even her airier music a resolute percussive edge, eschewing syncopation and swinging rhythms to give each song a scrupulous sense of compositional unity." 

— THE NEW YORK TIMES, November 17, 1986

"Nearly 40 years later, it was Ackerman, 74, who introduced Story, now 73, from the stage before her Nov. 11 sold-out comeback concert at New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall — bittersweet full circle moment in the wake of . . . Story’s own recovery from a bilateral subdural hematoma in 2019, which sidelined her from the stage for three years while she relearned how to play her instrument at home in Prescott, Az." — SPIN, November 22, 2023

Publicity photo c. 1988

“Her marvelously lissome performance and compositional style place her right up there with Keith Jarrett and John Jarvis… Rhythmically and melodically, there is a wonderful ebb and flow to her compositions. Story has an extraordinary gift for creating music that is at once thoughtful and moving.” — PEOPLE MAGAZINE

“Liz Story is one of our more soulful pianists, her playing redolent of youthful angst and weltschmerz, with soaring sonorities evoking a romanticism that is delicate and pensive, rife with the sorrow of first heartbreak, before the scar tissue. She’s a storyteller, a compelling one.”


“Story’s piano says volumes without uttering a single spoken syllable.” — THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS

“In the glut of solo pianists that followed in the wake of George Winston, Liz Story has remained both emotionally complex and harmonically austere. Unlike Peter Kater and Jim Brickman, pianist Liz Story rarely opts for sweet reveries and commercial pop ditties. Her compositions are always shadowed and textured, which doesn't stop her from creating haunting melodies like 'Church of Trees' and 'Wedding Rain.'


“Arresting. Story displayed not only a graceful command of the keyboard but also a thoughtful improvisor’s gift.”m — THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Story is a master of her chosen language. Her compositional style has been compared to that of Keith Jarret and John Jarvis… It does not require a linguistics expert to decipher the language Story so eloquently speaks.” — JAZZIZ

“Contemplative pauses, whispery trills and articulate right-hand figures that betray classical training.” — THE WASHINGTON POST​

“Liz Story is closer to Liszt than Jarret. Moods ranged from a stately 'Church of Trees' to the bouncy 'Frog Park,' a carefree romp that Story tempered with dark, low-pitched rumbling.”  — THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

“A personal style centered in ringing chordal passages, but still graced with poise.” — BILLBOARD

“A beautifully lyrical pianist and composer, Liz Story fuses her classical music background with a wide range of elements, embracing jazz, flamenco, folk, pop, and impressionistic styles. Displaying a striking gift for creating music that is at once thoughtful and moving, Liz tells compelling stories in the middle ground between jazz harmonies and classical technique." — YOSHI’S

"Windham Hill continues its 25th year celebration as a forerunner in new age music with this beautiful 15-track compilation [Welcome Home: The Best of Liz Story] by one of their most consistent and loyal solo pianists. Though she's always been categorized as new age, Liz Story's songs always incorporate a rich array of influences, from classical to jazz, even as they often calm into a meditative state. There's rich whimsy to "Bradley's Tune" (from Solid Colors), a mystical blues flavor to "Reconciliation" (from Part of Fortune), and a gossamer high-register elegance to the image-laden "Wedding Rain." Many of her best songs seem to make themselves up as they go along, forging improvisational paths, but others, like "Church of Trees" (from Escape of the Circus Ponies), take a more relaxed middle ground. While she can communicate every emotion with just her touch on the piano, she also knows how to use outside instrumentation when the emotional call is there; witness the mournful cello within the optimistic piano melody of "Ana" and the jazz duo effect created by the rhythm of Joel Di Bartolo's bass on "My Foolish Heart" and "My Romance" (from her standards album My Foolish Heart). The somber closer "For Mark, Unwound" is a track dedicated to her late friend Mark Paul Duke. Long before David Lanz and Jim Brickman were ruling the genre piano roost, Liz Story was writing tremendous chapters of new age history. An essential collection." — JONATHAN WIDRAN/TIVO

bottom of page