The finesse and skill of everyone on board is evident from the first notes of "It Could Happen to You" through the final chord of "If You Never Come to Me." Everything here, including easy swing, medium-up bebop, and liquid Latin lines, is a marriage of virtuosity and restraint.
- Bob McBride (JAM Magazine)
From the liner notes:
Once upon a time, in a simpler time, my brother Garry returned from a drum lesson with a story so elementary, yet so profound, that I have remembered it all my life. My brother’s mentor had explained to him that a musical note is shaped like an egg. The egg can be played at the front or back of the oval and be correct. But if you can continually find the middle of the egg, or the "yolk," you will have truly found the "groove." Sometimes, in music, notes become more important than time. Feel and flow take a back seat. Danny Embrey on guitar and Paul Smith on piano are two of Kansas City’s best at finding that elusive center of a musical note. And at the risk of sounding immodest, my brother and I create a metronomic effect that few rhythm sections can match. This CD is a tribute to that simple philosophy of feel and flow. It is a tribute to the youthful exuberance of the Winnetonka strings who performed on Wave. And a tribute to the parents and teachers who fueled our interest and appreciation for music – Gert and Al Leonard, Al Pollock, Herman Dash. The songs are not complex, but they are gracious, melodic venues that have withstood and welcome the test of time. Don’t take it too seriously. Just relax and enjoy.
- Gerry Leonard
Garry Leonard – Drums
After graduating from Eastern Michigan University on a full music scholarship, Garry toured the U.S. with brother Gerry, singer Leslie Kendall, and pianists Alan Broadbent, John Serry and Gus Sims. He settled in Kansas City and began a career in music education with the North Kansas City School District. He’s played with various groups in KC as well as the Starlight Theater, K.C. Chiefs Band and the Kansas City Symphony.
Gerry Leonard – Bass
Gerry played trumpet through college and following graduation, toured the U.S. playing bass with brother Garry for several years. He’s played with many local Kansas City musicians including long stints with such notables as Frank Smith, Richard Ross and Joe Cartwright.
Gary Helm – Latin Percussion
Gary has been performing in the Kansas City area for the past 25 years, specializing in percussion and electric bass. He has toured the U.S. extensively with such well-known artists as Chaka Khan, the O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and Earth, Wind and Fire.
Danny Embrey – Guitar
Danny is a local musician, guitar instructor and recording artist with an international reputation. He toured for many years with Sergio Mendez, was a member of Clare Fisher’s Latin Band and most recently has been touring with Concord recording artist, Karrin Allyson.
Paul Smith - Piano/Synthesizer
For over 30 years, Paul has maintained the perfect dual career – a music teacher by day and a jazz musician by night. Paul has worked with a plethora of locally and nationally known jazz artists and has appeared at jazz festivals in Berlin and Montreaux.
Kim Park – Tenor Saxophone
Kim’s father, John Park, was a very talented saxophonist in his own right, and both father and son toured with Stan Kenton’s band. John was also a good friend of Stan Getz, and you can feel the influence of both men in Kim's savvy, sophisticated approach.