Beat Street is my homage to the great soul jazz pioneers who have inhabited my inner sound system since I was a fifteen year old searching the keyboard for those elusive blue notes in between. Cannonball Adderley, Ramsey Lewis, the Crusaders, the Jazz Messengers, Junior Mance, The Three Sounds, Miles Davis, Eddie Palmieri, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and all.
I can’t recall the number of times I played “The In Crowd’ or “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” or “What’s Going On” on the bandstand. I do know I never tired of playing the form and soloing over the changes. It was always about the groove, mood and original intent that kept me intrigued and in the pocket.
The Rhythm Express Band is one of those five in the morning grand moments of clarity when all the music circulating inside gets introduced to an imagined cast of great musicians. Fortunately, I had Ontario Arts Council on my side and some incredible players willing to embrace the idea. They are simply the best!
Rather than chatter on about the music I would like to express for myself and our caring community the loss we all feel for those players and friends who passed recently. It’s taken a toll and all of us. I scripted “The Wake” in memory hoping every time it’s played their contributions and friendship will return to view (Doug Riley, Oscar Peterson, Newton Garwood, Domenic Troiano, Richard Bell, Curtis Bailey, Dougie Richardson, Jeff Healey and Paul Hoeffler.) You generous spirit and enormous talent made this music country what it now is!
All songs composed by Bill King (except Beat Street – King, Hepner, Sperandei, Kelso, Hopkins, Obergoso) and published by Night Passage Music (SOCAN)
Produced and Arranged by Bill King for 7 Arts Entertainment
Engineered and Mixed by: Mike Haas Inception Sound
Mastered: Andy Khrem – Silverbirch Productions
Cover photo – Bill King
Bill King – acoustic grand piano, Hammond B-3 Organ, Fender Rhodes, and Korg Synthesizer
William Sperandei – trumpet
Darcy Hepner – tenor saxophone and bass clarinet
Duncan Hopkins – acoustic and electric bass
Mark Kelso – drums
Luis Obergoso – percussion