Heath Walton’s High Life, an all-original contemporary jazz project, is performed by five incredibly talented musicians, all of whom represent the current jazz scene from New York to San Francisco. Fronted by Heath Walton on tenor saxophone, High Life also features Brian Scherman on alto saxophone, Joe Young on guitar, Josh Meyers on acoustic and electric bass, and James Windsor-Wells on drums.
Heath, Brian, Joe, Josh and James are all currently performing and studying in New York. Destined to come together in this compilation, they complement each other in a remarkable blend of performance and composition. Each performance on this CD features tight arrangements underlying exceptional improvisational solos, many varying rhythmic meters and engaging melodies that the listener will end up hearing long after the CD reaches the final track.
As producer for many projects on Crow Art Records, I long ago recognized Heath’s ability to perform at such height. Heath, however, made it clear to us that he felt the same about all four other musicians on this project, long before we had even heard the band. In fact, this recording is a true compilation: each musician brought compositions to the studio, each tune arranged by common goal and each outcome a reflection of all five players. During the recording project I was riveted to the incredible fluidity exhibited by each performance, as each were performed “live” start to finish, with no splicing or overdubbing, most with no more than a couple takes. This, of course, speaks to the highly polished and professional level of performance.
Recorded by and engineered and mastered at Sound Farm Recording Studio in Vacaville, CA., Doug Chancellor was the perfect engineer for this project. The players knew what they wanted to hear, how their instruments should sound to reflect a true live performance, and Doug delivered to the highest level.
Heath Walton’s High Life is the first major recording of his own in a promising career, although not the first time he’s been featured by recordings on Crow Art Records. Many of you may be familiar with Joe Craven’s Django Latino, upon which Heath performs more of his exceptional improvisations. Likewise, Heath is prominently featured on New York Times best-selling author John Lescroart’s recent recording As The Crow Flies.