Taking the gig was easy. Coming up with that project was another story. I wanted to create something that would put me out of my comfort zone and then have a potential touring life into 2019. I noticed that 2019 will be the 100th year of Art Blakey. Listening to my collection of Jazz Messenger CD’s, I noticed that there was a lack of bass solos, singers, and women in general.
Sounds like my kind of project, right?
Blakey was one of the great jazz mentors, pushing the guys to the limit to write their own music and play with big dynamics and passion. The young lions that joined his group evolved under his tutelage and left to become our biggest names in jazz.
My hope is to pay tribute to his mentorship and the guys that went through his band and became mentors themselves. We take the music and change the arrangements to honor their tradition without trying to directly replicate what they did so perfectly.
Soren Moller contributes four arrangements to the project and plays some wonderful piano. His arrangements bring a fresh perspective to Messenger “standards” that make me smile. For my part in the arranging, I added the vocal component and a few small alterations.
This project is truly about the ensemble. I’m honored to have these guys on the project. They are badazzz players and wonderful human beings:
Piano / Arrangements
“Driving the bus” for our project is Morten Lund. This guy is one of the busiest musicians in Denmark. His abounding energy and great musicianship is the perfect combination for this band.