The Jazz Project is pleased to announce the release of its second CD on The Jazz Project label. This live duo performance features Portland-based guitarists, John Stowell and Christohper Woitach in a unique collaboration of tunes ranging from Tom Harrell's "Scene" to Miles Davis' "Solar" to Christopher's solo rendition of Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".
The CD was recorded live as part of The Jazz Project's Art of Jazz Series at Lucia Douglas Gallery, Bellingham Washington. The CD was recorded and mixed by Brian Cunningham of Sharp Nine Productions, mastered by Talley Sherwood at the Blue Room, Los Angeles, and produced by Jud Sherwood for The Jazz Project.
Here's what Christopher and John had to say about the concert and the recording:
When I first started playing jazz guitar, I went to the public library and borrowed the first jazz album I could find with a guitarist on the cover. That guitarist was John Stowell. My reaction was along the lines of: "I could never
do that!" This recording represents a full circle for me, and I'm grateful to Jud and John for the opportunity.
John has the unique ability to pull out unexpected music from the musicians who play with him, leaving them forever expanded. While we were playing the concert, I heard and played things I hadn't before. For a musician, this is a
peak experience, and I'm looking forward to the next opportunity.
Christopher Woitach, Portland, OR, July 2003
John Stowell, Jud and the Jazz Project, Walt, Ken C, and Larry and Jud, who were a great rhythm section for John and me the two nights before the concert.
John Stowell: "Drummer Jud Sherwood has done a great job promoting jazz in Bellingham, WA for more than ten years, and he's been kind enough to include me in many of the performances there. Jud takes pleasure in suggesting interesting combinations of musicians for his events, and I was pleased when he paired me with Christopher Woitach, another guitarist frequently featured at Jud's concerts.
Christopher swings, has a warm sound, ample technique and big ears. All of these attributes make him an ideal duo partner. For our concert together, we both contributed some tunes and had a quick rehearsal. The sound at the Lucia Douglas Gallery and the wonderfully attentive audience made for a great afternoon. I look forward to playing more with Christopher in the future."
Some thanks...to Christopher for playing beautifully, to Jud Sherwood for all his support and hospitality over the years and for producing this CD, to Brian Cunningham and Talley Sherwood for their recording and mastering skills, to Rob Olsen and Klaus Scholler at Hofner Guitars, and to Mike Doolin at Doolin Guitars.
John Stowell, Portland, OR, July 2003.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
CHRISTOPHER WOITACH returns for his fifth Jazz Project concert. In 1999 he opened The Jazz Project's inaugural season with Brian Cunningham. In 2000, he performed trio with Larry Holloway and Jud Sherwood. In 2001 The Jazz Project commissioned a new music concert of Christopher's compositions titled: Bellingham. Last year, he released his duo CD with Larry Holloway; and now for the first time, he performs duets with another Jazz Project favorite, John Stowell
Woitach moved to Bellingham in 1995 after studying composition with David Borden and Bob Keefe in Ithaca, New York, and jazz guitar with Jim Hall in New York City. He has a twenty-five year career of composition, performance, and teaching, including work with some of modern jazz's most innovative players including cellist Hank Roberts. He received two "Meet the Composer" grants from the New York Council for the Arts, and an artist grant from the Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. He moved to Salem, Oregon in July 1999 and to Portland in 2002. He teaches Jazz Guitar at Western Oregon University.
JOHN STOWELL is another Jazz Project favorite, and not just because he's a mild-mannered and well-behaved house guest. He's a great guitarist too! John Stowell began his successful career with guitar lessons in his native Connecticut from guitarist Linc Chamberlind, and from John Mehegan, pianist and respected jazz educator at the Julliard School of Music and Yale University. Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in NYC and launched a critically acclaimed touring and recording associate that lasted 7 years, included 6 albums, and performances in Europe, Canada, USA and Australia.
During that time, John moved to Oregon where he met renowned flutist Paul Horn. This association led to an invitation for Paul Horn, John Stowell, David Friesen and Paul's son, Robin, to perform in the Soviet Union. It was the first time in 40 years that American jazz musicians had been invited to play public performances in Russia, paving the way for many others to follow.
In the summer of 1993 John returned to Russia, playing in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kursk. His two sold-out performances in Kursk maybe the first appearances by an American jazz musician.
In the last ten years John has pursued a solo career which includes a dizzying touring and teaching schedule around the world. Audiences have delighted in duo concerts by Paul Horn and John Stowell, as well as John's accompaniment of vocalists or other artists in small ensembles. Stowell has a standing invitation to perform every year for The Jazz Project which he has yet to decline. You may remember the following shows: quartet with Dan Faehnle (1999), trio with Larry Holloway & Jud Sherwood (1999), duo with Brian Cunningham (2000), and duo with Rob Scheps (2001), quartet with Nancy King (2001), with The Scenes Quartet (2002), quartet with Kelley Shannon, Clipper Anderson and Jud Sherwood (2002). And now for something completely different, 2003 with Christopher Woitach.
FROM THE PRODUCER
Two things will always be true about The Jazz Project: 1) I will always book the performers; 2) Both John Stowell and Christopher Woitach have standing invitations from The Jazz Project to play every year with whomever they want. Knowing these two things to be true, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and put them together for a debut concert. Similar to the Two Approaches Series, when Stowell performed opposite Dan Faehnle, tonight's show juxtaposes two very eclectic approaches to jazz guitar. You've seen both players with fellow guitarist Brian Cunningham and you've seen them both in trio settings with Larry Holloway and yours truly. You seen Christopher as a composer and player for the New Music Concert, and you've seen Stowell as a leader and accompanist with Nancy King and Kelley Shannon. Tonight's concert promises something completely different.