Hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend – the official start of BBQ season around here! I’ve been working hard to finish up the new CD, but I included a light hearted moment from one of the two April sessions at Avatar in NYC. Pictured with me are J. D. Allen/tenor sax, my bass player Larry Grenadier, Jeremy Pelt/ trumpet, and of course, Lewis Nash my drummer. We had a good time, and all got along really well. Lewis and Larry are, of course the best, and very very nice people. It was great to play again with Jeremy – he has such a beautiful tone, and is a wonderful all around musician too. J. D. was new to me, but he fit in really well, and his tenor was perfect for the session. The music is now all done, the packaging just finished, and the manufacturing is now starting. It’s really a lot of work, but it is such a deep passion for me, so I don’t mind, although it’s been nice to catch up on sleep and slow down the last week. More than ever, with the economy as it is, we hope the new music will do well. But the playing is incredible – and that is partly influenced by the track selection too. We recorded some iconic covers, and a couple of my tunes went over really well with the band too: nothing warms a composers heart as when players of this caliber really embrace a new song. The album has an August release date and is called “twilight & blues”.
Putting together a new album at such a historic and difficult time for America and the world really made me pause and reconsider what and how I wanted to create music. I found I just can’t play romantic standards right now: I need something that is more meaningful, and emotionally expressive. I think that this approach also resonated with the band too – so expect something unexpected! It’s also more bluesy, which I think fits where we are today too. What we do is based on tradition, like the blues, but takes a new direction. I don’t wish to live in the past or try and reproduce what the greats have done. We can take the influences of people like Miles, and Monk in creating new music representative of today. We hope you like it!
I had the chance to see Larry’s band Fly in NYC, with his band mates Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard – a great sold out show, with a line of 50 outside for the late show! Saw Billy Childs Chamber jazz in Los Angeles this weekend – very nice, but very chamber music with a string quartet as well as a band. Nice compositions and playing though. Chris Potter sold out here too, with an audience of primarily twenty-somethings! It’s good to see people going out to see live jazz, but it’s sad that one of our few jazz clubs in SoCal is closing and/or moving: The Jazz Bakery. I hope they will reopen soon.
I hope that things are going pretty well for you – music is always so uplifting isn’t it?