I had the pleasure of being present at the Fat Cat the night this recording was made. (you can actually hear me shouting “Yeah!” at different intervals) Carlos Abadie (who is a first generation Ecuadorian American born & raised in Jersey City, NJ) is a great musician, arranger & bandleader. To lead a band, a musician must possess a high level of discernment in what to play & what not to play and also be able to recognize the skills and abilities of the other band members. That type of vision is necessary in order to bring the music to life, to go from notes on paper to an actual performance filled with high levels of energy and emotion. Duke Ellington had that type of vision. So did Miles. Enter Carlos Abadie, who is well on his way to developing a similar kind of insight into what it takes to make a band and its members work well together.
All of us have heroes and role models whom we respect & admire. We grow up listening to recordings of these artists and soak up their music like sponges. This is a huge part of our musical education because listening is just as important as playing . During the 1950’s and 60’s artists like Kenny Dorham, Jackie McLean & Horace Silver produced timeless music that would become a major influence on those to follow them. Here in the 21st century, Carlos & his group are breathing new life into the compositions & arrangements of these masters because the world needs to be reminded of how great this music is. It should be played, not just in the museums or universities, but in the clubs & concert halls all around the world.
What makes this group stand out is something that was common in previous times but very rare today. This is a real working band, not a bunch of guys assembled for this gig where Carlos is the leader, but a quintet that has been together for the last five years. There is a real camaraderie between these men. You can hear it in their playing. And another element that is sometimes missing from groups today, fun! These guys are having a good time playing this music. They all possess the heart, soul & creativity that is essential to making the music come alive to you the listener.
Jazz has produced a long line of great trumpet players; names like Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Freddie Webster, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard the aforementioned Kenny Dorham, Miles Davis & Wynton Marsalis just to name a few. Carlos Abadie is now a part of that same lineage. In my 50 years as a professional musician, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to have heard & played with many of the top artists in this business. Discovering new players and hearing their concepts & ideas is one of my greatest joys. I am honored that Carlos asked me to co-produce this project. The music world is better off because of him. Thank you Carlos, you are the real deal!
Edited by Keith Thomas