Many of you may know me from my years with the band Royal Crown Revue out of LA, or previously with with NY bands The Flying Neutrinos or Set 'Em Up Joe. All those bands fall into the swing, rock & roll, mainstream jazz field. "Somewhereville", my first CD under my own name, is a different direction from what I've recorded before with these bands.
First off, let me give you the Reader's Digest version of my bio. (that is, short and sweet) Born in Melbourne, Australia, I spent 10 years working and living in New York, playing, recording and touring with many artists including Jon Hendricks, Doc Cheatham, Vincent Herring, Eric Alexander and Brian Blade. I now live in Los Angeles, and work mostly with Royal Crown Revue, touring the world. We've traveled to Australia, Spain, Italy, Belgium, England, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.
"Somewhereville" is a trio recording with guitar, bass and drums in the style of past recordings by artists such as Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow or Wes Montgomery. There's no tricks, or bells and whistles with modern day high tech devices. This is just 3 guys sitting around playing jazz, and I'm very proud to have the chance to share it with all of you. All but two of the tracks are originals written by me, so this was a real chance for me to show what I like to play when I'm able to.
1. "Schmoozin' at the Cooz" was written about a bar in Dubai that I hung out in for a week with a close friend of mine. Dubai was like nowhere I had ever been before.
2. "Somewhereville" is my take on what Wes Montgomery was all about, but doing it my way. I was always afraid of doing any Wes material as he was such an amazing force, I found him intimidating. This was my first foray into the world of Wes.
3. "My Place" I wrote in a hotel in Washington DC while on the road with RCR. I needed one more tune for my CD and thought a ballad would be nice. I totally followed my instincts with this one, and tried not to think of harmony or form. I just started a melody and let it take me where ever it wanted to go.
4. "Groovalicious" was originally written with a vocal given to me by Greg Mangus from my old band Set 'Em Up Joe. I always liked the groove on this one and thought it would mix things up a little to have something more modern sounding.
5."Struttin' with some BBQ". If you know this old chestnut from Louis Armstrong, this version doesn't sound anything like it. When I play solo guitar, I like to take a tune to places people don't usually expect.
6. "The Moment I Saw You" is my tip of the hat to Antonio Carlos Jobim. I wanted to write a bossa nova that reflected all those great tunes we now take for granted that came from the mind of one man.
7. "Fried Bananas" was my chance to burn on some great changes. Written by Dexter Gordon as a head over the old standard "It Could Happen To You", it's a tricky tune at this speed, but a lot of fun.
8. "Eve and the Forrest" is my tribute to the quirky, beautiful melodies that I heard guitarists like Pat Metheny and Bill Frissell play. I wanted to evoke a classic Americana melody, something that gives the feel of the wide open plains of the west.
Thanks for reading this far and taking a listen to "Somewhereville".