"I was first awakened to the buoyant life force of jazz in Hawaii by the release in 2004 of "Sounds of the City" by the Honolulu Jazz Quartet led by bassist John Kolivas. My criterion of any kind of music is whether it makes me feel more alive; and on listening to "Sounds of the City," I called John Kolivas to find out more about the quartet and the jazz scene in Hawaii." - Nat Hentoff
"The Honolulu Jazz Quartet is one of the state's most popular contemporary jazz bands, and Sounds Of The City is a satisfying document of their straightahead style." Todd Jenkins, Downbeat magazine (December 2004)
"I was completely taken aback by a group of guys with a lot of heart and one of the most impressive jazz recordings I have heard to date." Sheldon T. Nunn, JazzReview.com
"When you think of Honolulu, jazz probably doesn't come to mind. It didn't for me. Now it does. Sounds of the City is an inspired set by an inspiring group. In that sax and a rhythm section category, this is the finest I've heard this year." Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz.com - Posted November 12, 2004
"To find an independent group from Hawaii in the Top 50 is awesome, especially since it is their first release." - Sheldon Nunn, JazzReview.com
"Love the CD!" - Frank Johnson at WRTI - Philadelphia
"The HJQ, formed in 2001, a band firmly rooted in harmonically sophisticated but smooth post-Bop." - Cadence Magazine, May 2004
"You guys were great!" - James Ingram, at the Honolulu Symphony Pops concert, October 3, 2003.
"This is a magnificent CD!" - Don Gordon, jazz DJ, Hawaii Public Radio, 89.3 FM, Honolulu.
"Four instrumental "voices" blend with ease and assurance, creating a distinctive and colorful tapestry of emotions...HJQ is Hawaii's version of the MJQ - Modern Jazz Quartet - and the nucleus of all that's jazz in the Islands." - Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser, August 31, 2003.
"The best local jazz album of the year." - John Berger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 5, 2003.
"John Kolivas, Dan Del Negro, Adam Baron & Tim Tsukiyama make up the Honolulu Jazz Quartet and they have put together one of the most frequently requested CDs of the year in "Sounds of the City." Take a listen and find out why for yourself!" - BORDERS, Honolulu
The HONOLULU JAZZ QUARTET'S "SOUNDS OF THE CITY" CD reached No. 32 on the JazzWeek national radio airplay chart Top 50 in April 2004, spending 7 weeks on the chart.
The Honolulu Jazz Quartet is a logical progression in the great tradition of jazz in Hawaii. The band was founded in 2001 by local bassist John Kolivas with the intent of bringing four likeminded musicians together to create a consistent, indelible sound. There are many great jazz artists in Hawaii, but the economics of making a living as a musician in the 50th State are not conducive to the same group of players working together for an extended period of time. The four members of HJQ have done just that, and the result is a beautiful blend of four individual voices into one distinctive and original voice - a voice that has been thrilling audiences at Honolulu night spots, open air concerts and, most recently, at the opening of the 10th Annual Hawaii International Jazz Festival.
On October 3rd and 4th, 2003, the Honolulu Jazz Quartet opened the Honolulu Symphony Pops season along with singer James Ingram. Maestro Matt Catingub wrote full orchestra arrangements to four of HJQ's original compositions from "Sounds of the City."
Group profile: Bassist and group leader John Kolivas, is a local Hawaii product who relocated to New York City in 1982 and performed there until 1990. Kolivas was the original bassist for "The Tap Dance Kid" on Broadway and also played on "Big River" and toured with "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Gregory Hines Show". Kolivas has performed with jazz giants Makoto Ozone, Larry Coryell, Grady Tate, Don Grusin, Eric Marienthal, Robin Eubanks, John Pizzarelli, Arturo Sandoval, Valery Ponomarev, Jimmy Rowles, Bud Shank, Herb Ellis, Tiger Okoshi and many others. John also records and tours with Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Keola Beamer, and vocalist Keali'i Reichel. He is also a member of the Honolulu Symphony. Two of John's most influential teachers on the bass are Rufus Reid and Francois Rabbath.
Pianist Dan Del Negro is a native of Chicago and has worked with Herbie Mann, Nestor Torres and Tiger Okoshi. Dan has traveled extensively with Broadway shows Les Miserables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and has backed up Michael Crawford on many of his concert tours.
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama attended the Berklee College of Music and has played with Ray Charles, The Temptations, Cecilio and Kapono, the Royal Hawaiian Band, and Kalapana.
Drummer Adam Baron also attended the Berklee College of Music and was a student of Jeff Hamilton.
"Sounds of the City" was recorded live to two-inch tape and mixed down to half-inch tape at Audio Resource Honolulu to get a wonderful warm analog jazz sound like the great jazz records of the past. The CD was produced by John Kolivas and Robert Pennybacker of Pennybacker Creative, LLC. Eight of the ten original tunes on the CD were composed and arranged by bassist/leader John Kolivas. Dan Del Negro composed the remaining two.
Each of the 10 original tunes tells a story, i.e., Woody's Blues is dedicated to the great trumpeter Woody Shaw, who was a friend and great influence on Kolivas. (Please see the liner notes written by producer Robert Pennybacker.)