Denny Bixby has spent much of his career lending his playing and vocal talents to award-winning artists in many musical genres, but his true love has always been jazz.
During the '80s as a budding musician in Portland, Oregon, Denny began studying, writing and playing traditional and modern jazz in formats ranging from trios to big bands. When an early composition for a ten-piece jazz/funk album received widespread acclaim and airplay on regional jazz stations, Denny worked even harder to develop as a composer while honing his already-keen musicianship as a bassist. In 1983 he toured with Jeff Lorber alongside Kenny G, and went on to join an original contemporary jazz sextet with alumni from the Stan Kenton Orchestra and guitar great Dan Balmer.
In 1987 Denny moved to Nashville to perform, tour and record with artists including Chet Atkins, Suzy Bogguss, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Rodney Crowell and many others, contributing to several platinum albums. The late '90s marked a return to his roots as founding member of the jazz-infused trio Metropolis, playing in Nashville clubs and writing tunes for the band's self-titled CD.
Denny's long-standing desire to develop a solo project comes to fruition with Fish Out of Water. Its varied tunes, which wander from playful to wrenchingly beautiful, are bound by the common elements of Denny's gorgeous chord progressions, haunting melodies and deep grooves. As a whole, the collection reveals the compelling musicianship and creativity of a career rich in artistic styles and influences.
The consummate ensemble player, Denny credits the gifted musicians who contributed to this CD "for the life and spark they've brought to my music," he says. "My love of writing for horns and wind instruments is reflected in Fish Out of Water, and my next project is leaning even more in that direction." Denny's goal remains the same-to write music "that combines my influences and crosses boundaries, creating something new out of what has come before coupled with what I find within myself. This, for me, is the challenge, because I'd love to contribute to music's evolution as well as express the moods of the time in which we live. Plus, I want to kick butt with a killer band."
Wherever Denny's muse leads, Fish Out of Water establishes his vision. It is the melding of a gifted musician's rare instincts with the artist's pure passion, in a genre of infinite possibilities.
Enjoy Fish Out of Water, and stay tuned.