I had asked Jon Wheatley, a long time friend and collaborator, to suggest some tunes or compositions for this project.
We eventually used four of his suggestions and arrangements; "Ovals" from a great Jimmy Raney session, "I want To live" by Johnny Mandel from the 1955 Susan Hayward movie, "Engano" by Luiz Banfa and of course, our title tune.
"Toots", by Jerry Bergonzi the great Saxophonist and jazz educator, was something I had always wanted to record. He handed me the lead sheet years ago with a suggestion that I learn it and commented something like ..." it's kind of in the Toots pocket ". There's a great recording of Bergonzi doing this with the Bruce Gertz Quintet.
"Bella Rosa" by Elmo Hope is another tune that stuck in my head for a while. I was eager to rip it from a Curtis Counce record and use it here. "Con Alma", Dizzy Gillespie’s theme is a request by Dan Kinlon , our kind friend and executive producer (also a harmonica player) for this project. He wanted it, and hey, if Dan wants it he should have it, right! " Pickle In The Bank" or "Pickle Bank Blues" was requested by our highly esteemed recording and mixing engineer ( a harmonicist himself) Philipp Nedel. Dan enthusiastically chimed in as well....and so we whipped off a somewhat gratuitous "blues" for the session
“East Of The Sun" and "Mood Indigo" kind of fill out the session.
Bronx-born Turk began his passion for the harmonica in his early teen years, learning licks off albums by leading Chicago blues harp exponents Paul Butterfield, Little Walter, and James Cotton. After deciding to take up the life of a professional jazz-and-blues musician, he traveled to Boston in the mid-1970s and became a fixture at many local clubs.
Turk's first solo CD project, Harmonica Salad, was a brilliant travelogue of blues, jazz, standards, and several points in between, with scenery provided by a constantly changing cast of accompanists. The second album,Turk's Works, is a more singleminded excursion in which Turk has set himself in the middle of a killer quintet and let the tape run. What we get is an inspired, exhilarating, and very live set of sterling jazz. No formulaic drill, no 'theme' concept passed down from the folks in Marketing, no sprint to the finish line."
Education being a lifelong process, Turk has continued to learn. He can now look back on nearly two decades of refining his jazz voice to a point where it is pure and natural. The blues roots are there... " What we get, though, is music where the ideas and the swing are unforced, where everything flows with such assurance that one forgets that Turk plays one of the jazz world's miscellaneous instruments and simply hears his harmonica as a lead voice, comfortable and in-place as the more familiar trumpet or sax."...Bob Blumenthal, Boston Phoenix
Guitarist Jon Wheatley has performed with:
Harry “Sweets” Edison
and Gunther Schuller
Studied piano, acoustic bass and violin in his youth. He attended Berklee in the mid 1970’s.
Recordings include Ruby Braff – “Live at the Regattabar,” and “Born to Play”; “Turk’s Works” (Mike Turk); Billy Novick- “Remembering You”; Herb Pomeroy – “This Is Always”; Arnie Krakowsky – “Where the Tenor Meets The Bone” Jim Porcella – “Antonio and Jon,” and George Masso – “At Long Last Love.”
Masso’s recording was reviewed by Jazz Journal, October 2001. ”Born to Play” was among the Boston Globe’s top ten of 1999. A subsequent recording, “Slow Hot Wind” by vocalist Debbie Larkin, featured Jon with Jeff Stout and Ray Santisi.
Jon performed in the Boston Globe Jazz Festival in 1984, 1990 and 1993. Recent appearances include the “March of Jazz” weekend in honor of Ruby Braff, in Clearwater, Florida, “Jazz at Chatauqua” weekend festival in Chatauqua, New York, and a month long concert tour of England with Ruby Braff in 2002.
Today, Jon maintains a busy schedule of performances, in and around the Boston & New England area, with many jazz artists.
He currently teaches guitar at Berklee College Of music and University of Massachusetts at Lowell
Bassist Marshall Wood
Worked With: Jim Gwin Carl Jefferson George Masso Monty Alexander Jon Wheatley Artie Cabral Ed Saindon Chuck Riggs John Allmark Billy Novick Dan Moretti Dick Johnson Scott Hamilton Dave Shacter Monica Hatch John Stein Jim Porcella
Monty Alexander Jamboree: Monty Alexander's Ivory... (1988) Bass
Monty Alexander Island Grooves: Jamboree & Ivory... (2000) Bass
Ray Alexander Vigorous Vibes (1998) Bass
The John Allmark Jazz... John Allmark Jazz Orchestra... (2001) Bass
Ruby Braff Live at the Regattabar (1993) Bass
Ruby Braff Controlled Nonchalance, Vol. 1 (1993) Bass
Ruby Braff Born to Play (1999) Bass
Donna Byrne Let's Face the Music and Dance (1992) Bass, Producer
Donna Byrne It Was Me (1995) Bass, Producer
Donna Byrne Don't Dream of Anybody But Me (2001) Bass, Arranger, Producer
Concord Jazz All-Stars Concord All-Stars on Cape Cod (1992) Bass