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Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival

Superband

Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Mack Avenue
UPC: 0673203110625
Catnr: MAC 1106
Release date: 19 February 2016
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Label
Mack Avenue
UPC
0673203110625
Catalogue number
MAC 1106
Release date
19 February 2016

""wich sums up, a fine album, nothing new, but just a lot against it, thats also good!""

Rootstime, 06-3-2016
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Since its rollicking debut at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival, the Mack Avenue SuperBand has become a tradition at the annual event, a gathering of label superstars that the Motor City can look forward to every Labor Day weekend. Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2015 captures the fourth incarnation of the all-star ensemble, for the first time under the leadership of Christian McBride. This year, McBride takes over as musical director (a role previously held by fellow bassist Rodney Whitaker), leading a knockout conglomeration of Mack Avenue artists through a set as sweltering as that late-summer day in the concrete outdoor arena of Hart Plaza.

Artist(s)

Superband

Since its rollicking debut at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival, the Mack Avenue SuperBand has become a tradition at the annual event, a gathering of label superstars that the Motor City can look forward to every Labor Day weekend. Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2015 captures the fourth incarnation of the all-star ensemble, for the first time under the leadership of Christian McBride. This year, McBride takes over as musical director (a role previously held by fellow bassist Rodney Whitaker), leading a knockout conglomeration of Mack Avenue artists through a set as sweltering as that late-summer day in the concrete outdoor arena of Hart Plaza. “I’ve been a Mack Avenue artist for quite some time now,” says McBride, who made his...
more
Since its rollicking debut at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival, the Mack Avenue SuperBand has become a tradition at the annual event, a gathering of label superstars that the Motor City can look forward to every Labor Day weekend. Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2015 captures the fourth incarnation of the all-star ensemble, for the first time under the leadership of Christian McBride. This year, McBride takes over as musical director (a role previously held by fellow bassist Rodney Whitaker), leading a knockout conglomeration of Mack Avenue artists through a set as sweltering as that late-summer day in the concrete outdoor arena of Hart Plaza.
“I’ve been a Mack Avenue artist for quite some time now,” says McBride, who made his label debut in 2009 with Kind of Brown, the first release from his Inside Straight quintet. He’s since released five more albums by that band, his trio and his big band. “My catalogue with Mack Avenue is bigger than it has been for any other label I’ve been affiliated with, so I feel like an important member of the Mack Avenue family. It would have been good just to be on the gig, period, but when they asked me to be the musical director it seemed like a simple call to make.” Joining McBride as first-time members of the SuperBand are pianist Christian Sands and trumpeter Freddie Hendrix. While neither has recorded as a leader for Mack Avenue, both have recorded for the label under McBride’s leadership: Hendrix in the bassist’s Big Band and Sands as a member of both Inside Straight and the Christian McBride Trio. The rest of the seven-piece group all are returning veterans: drummer Carl Allen has anchored the band since the beginning, while saxophonists Tia Fuller and Kirk Whalum, and vibraphonist Gary Burton are all three-time members.
The members of the SuperBand represent a diverse range of generations and styles. It offers a rare opportunity, for instance, to hear NEA Jazz Master Gary Burton engage with a group of younger players with more of a hard-bop focus than he usually encounters in his own more modern-leaning bands. “This is definitely not my normal zone,” he admits with a chuckle. “But this is the music I grew up playing. I was a bebop guy in my teens and twenties – that was the standard jazz of the day. Playing straight-ahead is something I hadn’t done much for a while, so I was looking forward to a relaxing, fun, jam session kind of setting where I didn't have to read a million notes and play a lot of complex music. In spite of that, some of the music ended up being fairly complicated and challenging.” Burton will be able to further enjoy that opportunity in early 2016, as the Mack Avenue SuperBand heads out on tour, affording audiences outside Detroit the opportunity to share the invigorating experience of witnessing the ensemble live on tour for the first time in its history. The line-up will be a slight variation on the one recorded at the 2015 festival, with Sean Jones returning to the trumpet and flugelhorn chair. Whalum will join the band for select West Coast performances.
“I’m looking forward to playing some of the music that we played in Detroit and a lot more and seeing where it goes,” McBride says. “These bands change a little bit every year and we already know that this is not going to be a permanent group, so we just want to have as much fun as we can while we’re together.” The 2015 concert recording features pieces penned by six of the seven members, kicking off with the “fatbacks and greens” (to borrow McBride’s words) of Whalum’s soul-jazz burner “Preach Hank!” The tune echoes the saxophonist’s roots in the Baptist church as well as his love for R&B sax great Hank Crawford, aligning it with his previous Mack Avenue tributes to soul icons Babyface and Donny Hathaway, as well as the collaboration of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.
Hendrix’s aptly named “Sudden Impact” follows, its hard-charging groove and brawny horn melody sparking blistering solos from Sands and the composer himself. McBride’s lovely 5/4 jaunt “Paint Brushes” – one of those trickier-than-expected pieces that Burton cited – passes its trickling melody from voice to voice among the band members before ceding the spotlight to Burton and Fuller. The vibraphonist was inspired to make one of his rare forays into composing with the ballad “All You Have To Be Is You,” which features Fuller’s soprano engaging with his own cloud-like accompaniment.
Burton was also responsible for the one tune not contributed by a SuperBand member, Makoto Ozone’s swaying, Monk-inspired “Test of Time.” The Japanese pianist is a long-time collaborator of Burton, who thought the piece would work perfectly arranged for the super-group’s three-horn frontline. “I knew we’d have a bunch of upbeat and exciting pieces to play, but we’d need something else to play for contrast,” Burton explains. “I thought my ballad and Makoto’s slow blues would probably fill the bill, and sure enough, Makoto’s tune was a big hit the first time we played it through.” It remains a hit on stage, where blues-tinged solos from Whalum and Sands evoke throaty cries of appreciation from the Detroit audience.
Fuller contributes the brisk “Decisive Steps,” unleashing the more tempestuous side of her soprano playing as well as a bold, soaring turn from Hendrix. The set concludes with an 11-minute run through Sands’ muscular “Up!” which allows everyone in the band to show off their estimable – and crowd- pleasing – chops.
The Mack Avenue SuperBand “follows a tradition of record labels, no matter what genre, having a sense of pride in their roster,” according to McBride. “What I like about Mack Avenue is that it seems to be one of the few – dare I say only – jazz labels that really has an eye on straight-ahead jazz. They’re certainly not opposed to breaking tradition – and breaking tradition is actually part of the jazz tradition – but at the same time they don’t shun musicians who like to play swing rhythms.” Burton echoes that sentiment, recognizing that the “label family” idea harkens back to an earlier generation of jazz. “These days, everybody seems to be off doing their own thing. This really is like something from a past era, and I was a little surprised and pleased that the label decided to put it on tour. But there is something special about the Detroit Jazz Festival for the people on the label, and it increasingly feels like a touchstone. Come Labor Day weekend, we’re going to be in Detroit and a bunch of us from the label will get together and play.”
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Gary Burton (percussion)

Born in 1943 and raised in Indiana, Gary Burton taught himself to play the vibraphone and, at the age of 17, made his recording debut in Nashville, Tennessee, with guitarists Hank Garland and Chet Atkins. Two years later, Burton left his studies at Berklee College of Music to join George Shearing and subsequently Stan Getz, with whom he worked from 1964-1966. As a member of Getz’s quartet, Burton won Down Beat magazine’s Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition award in 1965. By the time he left Getz to form his own quartet in 1967, Burton had also recorded three albums under his name for RCA. Borrowing rhythms and sonorities from rock music, while maintaining jazz’s emphasis on improvisation and harmonic complexity,...
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Born in 1943 and raised in Indiana, Gary Burton taught himself to play the vibraphone and, at the age of 17, made his recording debut in Nashville, Tennessee, with guitarists Hank Garland and Chet Atkins. Two years later, Burton left his studies at Berklee College of Music to join George Shearing and subsequently Stan Getz, with whom he worked from 1964-1966. As a member of Getz’s quartet, Burton won Down Beat magazine’s Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition award in 1965. By the time he left Getz to form his own quartet in 1967, Burton had also recorded three albums under his name for RCA. Borrowing rhythms and sonorities from rock music, while maintaining jazz’s emphasis on improvisation and harmonic complexity, Burton’s first quartet attracted large audiences from both sides of the jazz-rock spectrum. Such albums as Duster and Lofty Fake Anagram established Burton and his band as progenitors of the jazz fusion phenomenon.

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Tia Fuller (saxophone)

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tia Fuller uses the process of diamonds forming under four levels of extreme pressure and heat as a metaphor for the time she spent honing her artistic craft. When looking up the term ‘diamond cut,’ you’ll learn that it was not necessarily pertaining to the shape but to the proportioning and the balance as to which the highest amount of light is reflected through the diamond. The process serves as a direct correlation to her teaching and playing.  While the phrase “diamond in the rough” often describes burgeoning talents brimming with potential, Fuller has exhibited impending greatness since emerging on the international jazz scene more than a decade ago. Now, her artistic capacity has blossomed tremendously, resulting...
more

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Tia Fuller uses the process of diamonds forming under four levels of extreme pressure and heat as a metaphor for the time she spent honing her artistic craft. When looking up the term ‘diamond cut,’ you’ll learn that it was not necessarily pertaining to the shape but to the proportioning and the balance as to which the highest amount of light is reflected through the diamond. The process serves as a direct correlation to her teaching and playing.

While the phrase “diamond in the rough” often describes burgeoning talents brimming with potential, Fuller has exhibited impending greatness since emerging on the international jazz scene more than a decade ago. Now, her artistic capacity has blossomed tremendously, resulting in her fourth Mack Avenue Records release – the aptly titled Diamond Cut, her first album as leader since 2012’s Angelic Warrior. In those six years, she’s transitioned from being a member of Beyoncé’s touring band to becoming a full-time professor at Berklee College of Music, while still juggling a demanding career as a solo artist and touring with the likes of drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Ralph Peterson Jr., among others.

“Not that I’ve arrived by any means, but I think I’m in a space of empowerment, knowing that I’m walking in my purpose,” says Fuller as she reflects on her multifaceted career. “I’m in the fullness of my purpose. Now, I’m more able to directly reflect the light toward others because of what other people have poured and reflected into me. I feel that I’m in a solid place to give back things of substance.”

Produced by GRAMMY®-Award winner Terri Lyne Carrington, the album finds Fuller leading two superb rhythm sections, both of which contain some of jazz’s brightest luminaries – bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette, then bassist James Genus and drummer Bill Stewart. Adding texture and harmonic support of several compositions are guitarist Adam Rogers and organist Sam Yahel.

While touring together in 2014, Carrington encouraged Fuller to recruit some more seasoned musicians for her forthcoming disc. “Terri said, ‘I really would like for you to see you house yourself amongst the greats on the next album so that you can really hone in on playing jazz. You’ve done it with your peers. But I would like to see you with some elders,’” Fuller recalls. The net result is a sparkling, cohesive album that optimizes her iridescent tone and supple, sometimes rhythmically aggressive, improvisations through an enticing program of mostly originals firmly rooted in the language of 21st century modern post-bop.

The actual day of recording Diamond Cut marked the first time Fuller worked with both DeJohnette and Holland. “Seeing them arrive at the studio and set up, I was definitely nervous,” Fuller says. “But as soon as we started playing, it was all about the music. One thing that I appreciated from both of them was that they approached the music in a very humble way and really honored it.”

Indeed, Fuller sparks an electrifying rapport with DeJohnette and Holland on the pneumatic waltz “Queen Intuition,” on which Rogers and Yahel provide subtle harmonic cushioning, and the capricious “Joe’n Around,” on which Fuller unravels various improvised, melodic fragments associated by three of her saxophone mentors – Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson and Joe Jennings. They’re also featured on the episodic “The Coming,” of which Fuller uses Clark Atlanta University professor Daniel Black’s The Coming: A Novel as inspiration in the retelling of the Middle Passage that brought captured African slaves to the Americas; a prancing reading of Mal Waldron’s signature composition, “Soul Eyes,” on which she tips her hat to John Coltrane; and the soothing “Delight,” which takes its inspiration from the Christian Biblical scripture, Psalms 37:4 – “Delight in the Lord/And he will give you the desires of the heart.”

The album also marks the first time Fuller has recorded with Genus and Stewart. And again, she strikes a winning accord, indicative of the album’s searing opening piece, “In The Trenches,” on which she rides a turbulent momentum steered by Stewart’s jagged rhythms and Genus’ hefty, propulsive bass lines. “That was the first song that I wrote for the album, while I was literally in the trenches of transitioning and balancing my work schedule and dealing with personal family challenges,” Fuller explains. “I literally felt like I could not move. I remember being in my office feeling like I was all the way in the trenches, trying to dig myself out.”

From there, Fuller along with Genus and Stewart render “Save Your Love For Me,” the first of only three jazz standards on Diamond Cut. The soulful makeover – arranged by vibraphonist, drummer and fellow Mack Avenue Records artist Warren Wolf – allows Fuller to pay homage to yet another significant lodestar, Cannonball Adderley. Also powered by the Genus-and-Stewart rhythm team, Fuller delivers the majestic ballad “Crowns Of Grey,” which honors her parents, Fred and Elthopia Fuller, both of whom encouraged her formative musical growth while living in Aurora, Colorado.

Fuller praises Carrington for her production ingenuity, which helped guide Diamond Cut from its early conception to completion. “Terri really pays attention to minutia while being able to see the big picture,” Fuller says. “And she can enhance the big picture by having an endless arsenal of ideas for sounds and song structures. Even while I was writing the tunes, she was on the front lines saying, ‘Tia, you want each and every song to be the best song that you’ve ever written.’ She was always strongly encouraging me to not just lapse into what I’ve done before. She really helped shape the finer points of the compositions, then as the producer she put her magic touch on it.”

This newest outing illustrates that Fuller continues to etch away at her inner diamond as a saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator. History will surely reveal Diamond Cut to be a landmark chapter in her artistic journey.


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Christian McBride (double bass)

In the 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement achieved its greatest moments, gifted bassist and composer Christian McBride was not yet born. As a child in the 1970s, he learned the history of the movement in school, but due to a quirk of fate – his grandmother’s fortunate propensity for saving old things – he found another source of information that spoke to him on a more emotionally accessible level than history books. “When I was a kid, I used to spend hours looking at old copies of Ebony and Jet magazines that my grandmother saved,” he says. “To read contemporaneous writings by black writers about events and people who were my history – our history – that was absolutely fascinating...
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In the 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement achieved its greatest moments, gifted bassist and composer Christian McBride was not yet born. As a child in the 1970s, he learned the history of the movement in school, but due to a quirk of fate – his grandmother’s fortunate propensity for saving old things – he found another source of information that spoke to him on a more emotionally accessible level than history books.

“When I was a kid, I used to spend hours looking at old copies of Ebony and Jet magazines that my grandmother saved,” he says. “To read contemporaneous writings by black writers about events and people who were my history – our history – that was absolutely fascinating to me. It was the greatest gift my grandmother could have given to me.”

That gift played a major role in the creation of The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons, McBride’s stunning masterpiece about “the struggle,” which is now a 20 year-long, continuously evolving project. The work combines elements of jazz, gospel, big band, swing, symphony, theater and dramatic spoken word, in a clear-eyed yet optimistic look at where our society has come from and where it is hopefully headed.

Born in Philadelphia, McBride was a gifted musical prodigy who soaked up influences from every direction. At the tender age of 17, he was recruited by saxophonist Bobby Watson to join his group, Horizon. During the 1990s, he proceeded to work with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard and Chick Corea as well as major pop and rock stars like Sting, Paul McCartney, James Brown and Celine Dion. His abilities were also coveted by the classical music world, including opera legends Kathleen Battle and Renee Fleming.

In 1998, a musical commission from the Portland (Maine) Arts Society set in motion what would eventually become a major part of his life’s work. The only stipulation for the commission was that it had to include a choir. “At that time, I called it a musical portrait of the Civil Rights Movement,” Christian says. “I thought about those times and decided that rather than try to write a history of the movement, I wanted to evoke its spirit and feeling.”


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Kirk Whalum (saxophone)

Grammy® Award Winner and Global Recording Artist Kirk Whalum is ruminating on exactly when his eyes were opened to the big, beautiful world beyond his cloistered boyhood in Memphis, Tennessee. There, the minister’s son spent most of his time surrounded by family and friends, soaking up the soulful spirituality he found in gospel music in church. But inside, he knew he had the heart of a wanderer. “I was 19 and I got a scholarship to study in Paris. I lived with a French family for three months,” he says. “It changed my life – my world was essentially blown open. I told my girlfriend Ruby (now his wife), “Baby, we are so gonna live in this place someday.” It took Kirk...
more
Grammy® Award Winner and Global Recording Artist Kirk Whalum is ruminating on exactly when his eyes were opened to the big, beautiful world beyond his cloistered boyhood in Memphis, Tennessee. There, the minister’s son spent most of his time surrounded by family and friends, soaking up the soulful spirituality he found in gospel music in church. But inside, he knew he had the heart of a wanderer.
“I was 19 and I got a scholarship to study in Paris. I lived with a French family for three months,” he says. “It changed my life – my world was essentially blown open. I told my girlfriend Ruby (now his wife), “Baby, we are so gonna live in this place someday.” It took Kirk a while to make good on that promise. In the early 1980s, he headed to Houston, Texas, where the gifted saxophonist quickly made his mark in the burgeoning nightclub scene. Fusing together elements of gospel, blues and jazz, he developed his distinctive tenor sound – soul-drenched, emotional and always highly melodic.
Kirk made the leap from sideman to bandleader, eventually joining forces with legendary jazz keyboardist Bob James, a touring and recording collaboration that led to five albums, including his first #1 record and a GRAMMY® nomination. From there, it was off to Los Angeles, where he became an in-demand session player for top artists including Barbra Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones and most notably, Whitney Houston.
Kirk’s solo on Whitney’s mega-hit “I Will Always Love You” made his sound familiar to untold millions and he spent seven years touring the world with the late superstar. When it was over, Kirk finally made good on that long-ago promise to Ruby. He and his wife sold all their possessions and whisked their four children off to live in Paris.
“That was the genesis of me being open to experiencing the world in a bigger way,” he muses.
Kirk, now a headlining solo artist, began touring the world, performing at the major international music festivals. It was around this time the seed was planted in his mind for what would grow into his latest album, Humanité.
“I kept bumping into these amazing artists from all over the world and I wanted to make some crazy music with them and prove this point – that we are all one,” says Kirk. “That’s the DNA of it. Like we say in the artwork, ‘With one voice, sometimes with words, we speak.’ This is the essential reality of being a world musician.” Humanité is unlike any album Kirk has ever made – the synergistic result of encounters made and relationships formed onstage and off with some of the finest recording artists from all over the world.
Kirk’s collaborators on the album include Japanese jazz pianist Keiko Matsui, the young bass phenomenon Barry Likumahuwa, gifted singer/songwriter Grace Sahertian and global pop star singer/actor Afgan, all hailing from Indonesia; vocalist/guitarist Zahara, one of South Africa’s biggest stars; Kasiva Mutwa of Nairobi; and the veteran UK jazz vocalist Liane Carroll, long considered by cognoscenti as one of the finest voices in the genre.
Over a period of three months in 2018, Kirk and his longtime friend and producer, the British jazz trumpeter and session musician James McMillan, recorded tracks in locations ranging from studios in Jakarta, Tokyo, Paris, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Hastings, to hotel rooms, office buildings and even Kirk’s living room in Memphis.
According to Kirk, language and cultural barriers faded away once the playing and improvisation began. As he sees it, music serves the same purpose all over the world for both artists and their audiences – a universal form of communication to share emotion and tell stories, but most especially to “enable liberation and freedom of expression.” Kirk was just 9 years old when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis just blocks away from the Whalum family home. That shattering event shaped young Kirk’s worldview. But rather than turn him cynical, as he grew older his spiritual upbringing led him to embrace Dr. King’s vision of “The Beloved Community” – the greater good inherent in all of global humanity will lead to a society based on justice, civil rights and love of one’s fellow humans.
This loomed large in Kirk’s mind as he approached both the making of Humanité and the feature length companion documentary “Humanité: The Beloved Community,” shot in Tokyo, Jakarta, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Hastings and Memphis by director Jim Hanon. The film, woven from the words, stories and original melodies of the diverse cast of artists featured on the album, channels the ethos of civil rights in a raw and compassionate tale of harmony in a divisive world.
“People are normally afraid of what is outside of their culture, but we as musicians say, “Hey man, let’s mix this stuff up! Jazz is freedom of expression, communication of love, excitement, passion. Humanité is about identifying that beautiful thing that draws us all together and that causes us not to be afraid.” “In America, music has always served to enfranchise the disenfranchised,” he says. “It works the same way in other countries. You see the same dynamic. Collaboration can be insurgency. And music is above language, above borders – it serves as a tool to fight oppression everywhere.” Standout tracks that showcase the album’s harmonious mix of American jazz, blues, funk, pop along with global indigenous musical forms abound on Humanité. Kirk makes particular note of a few: “Korogocho” featuring bassists Marcus Miller and Barry Likumahuwa: This high velocity fusion track features Kirk’s smoothly melodic soprano sax and highly technical dueling bass solos by internationally renowned jazz master Marcus Miller and the young Indonesian virtuoso who grew up listening to him.
“When I wrote the song, I envisioned Marcus playing on it. And it was beautiful, he really brought it to life. But in the meantime, I had met Barry at the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta – one of the nice things they do at festivals is pair an American artist with an artist from another country. I thought, ‘Wow, this cat is BAD!” His playing really connected with me on a spiritual level. And so, the piece came together with the idea of dueling bass players. Barry was just blown away, he was like “Oh wow, I’m dueling with Marcus Miller!” And Marcus – well, he dug it, of course.” “Get Your Wings Up” featuring guitarist/vocalist Andréa Lisa: A gorgeous contemporary jazz/R&B track with an uplifting message and soaring melody – a clear product of Andréa’s extensive grounding in the American soul and R&B she grew up listening to in the family home, first in her native South Africa and later in New Zealand, where she has lived since the age of 8.
“Andréa is a great musician, but she’s also an amazing writer. After she and I met, she said she was really hot on the idea of coming to the States. She ended up coming to my house in Memphis. She played the song for me and I was blown away. She tells a story about it: Her mom used to tell her, ‘You’re so busy trying to get everybody else up and flying, you need to make sure you’re in flight first before you can help everybody.” Kirk recorded Andréa’s song with just his sax and her guitar, backed only by a click track. She added her vocal, Kirk supplied some additional vocal parts and he then took it to England to producer James McMillan’s studio to add the rhythm section (“mostly African musicians living in the UK,” he notes.) “It’s maybe not the best way to make music, but if the musicians can feel where you’re coming from, you just plug in and it’s there.” “Wake Up Everybody” featuring Afgan: A silky ballad about the power of education and enlightenment to awaken and transform the world, featuring a strong, passionate vocal by this young Indonesian superstar.
“Getting Afgan, this huge star in Southeast Asia, on this record was kind of like a longshot for me. He’s a huge heartthrob on the order of somebody like Chance the Rapper,” says Kirk. “For me to even be welcomed onto the stage with him there was an anomaly. And there I am, this black American jazz artist up there with him, surrounded by a huge crowd of young fans, all like 13 to 25. And I’m just doing what I do – kind of like what I did with Whitney Houston.”
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Carl Allen (drums)

Christian Sands (piano)

Christian Sands grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and later moved to the nearby Orange. He started playing the piano at a very young age, and took lessons from the age of four; he commented that 'I grew up with it in the house, in the classroom and on stage so it has always been a huge part of my life'. Sands was mentored by pianist Billy Taylor, who allowed the teenager to close one of the sets that Taylor played at the Kennedy Center. Sands went on to study at the Manhattan School of Music. The school's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, led by Bobby Sanabria, recorded the album Kenya Revisited Live in 2009; it was nominated for a Latin Grammy. After graduating, Sands joined Inside Straight, one of bassist Christian McBride's bands; they have toured...
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Christian Sands grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and later moved to the nearby Orange. He started playing the piano at a very young age, and took lessons from the age of four; he commented that "I grew up with it in the house, in the classroom and on stage so it has always been a huge part of my life".
Sands was mentored by pianist Billy Taylor, who allowed the teenager to close one of the sets that Taylor played at the Kennedy Center. Sands went on to study at the Manhattan School of Music. The school's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, led by Bobby Sanabria, recorded the album Kenya Revisited Live in 2009; it was nominated for a Latin Grammy.

After graduating, Sands joined Inside Straight, one of bassist Christian McBride's bands; they have toured internationally.

Sands became a Steinway artist in 2012. In 2014, Sands cited as influences McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, and Marcus Roberts, because "They're coming from the tradition of bringing people into the music, but also moving it forward into new directions". In the same year, Sands became an American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship Awards Finalist.


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Freddie Hendrix (trumpet)

Composer(s)

Press

"wich sums up, a fine album, nothing new, but just a lot against it, thats also good!"
Rootstime, 06-3-2016

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