This recording came about as a result of the generous spirit and enormous talent of my good friends Jimmy Jarratt, Tim Avalon, and Allison Jenkins. Although this project bears my name, I realize that their contributions exceed my own. I am indebted to them all.
We are blessed to live in a small, but vibrant, corner of the musical universe here in Jackson, Mississippi. Once a month, at the Mississippi Museum of Art, our local jazz community comes together to share their love for this uniquely American musical form, performed while surrounded by world class art. This recording, in some small measure, reflects that love for music, for each other, and for our community.
While each performer on this recording is well versed in multiple musical styles, we find common ground through the language of jazz.
Allison Jenkins is a vocalist and songwriter of enormous versatility and depth, reflected not only in her captivating voice, but in her lyrical prowess and flair for multiple languages. Listen to her sing in Italian on Infidelity and in German on Blue Drag. She evokes the feeling of having been transported to a Paris nightclub in the 1930's. Simply marvelous!
Jimmy Jarratt has such command of the piano that playing with him is pure joy. His generous spirit is reflected not only in his musical offerings, but in his life as well. He always invites me sit in at his gigs, which has allowed me to learn so many tunes from him. Hearing Jimmy's backup licks and the way he supports the other players, not to mention his sparkling solos, is to witness a true professional at work.
Tim Avalon is a multi-instrumentalist and a superb musical arranger and songwriter. His guitar skills are renowned and reflect his respect for gypsy jazz, among the many styles in which he is adept. His rhythmical intensity is so compelling that if you can't play a swinging solo over it, well, then, you just can't swing! Check out Tim's arrangement and guitar work on his and Allison's original tune, Dandelion Breeze, the opening cut on this recording.
Thanks to Charles Hooker for your love, devotion, and support of those who perform live music in our community. We are all the richer because of you.
Thanks to the great staff at the Mississippi Museum of Art for allowing us to play and record at your wonderful venue and for making us feel so welcome.
Special thanks to James A. Griffin of Belhaven Productions for your generosity, vision and talent in bringing this project together!
Thanks to the venues and to everyone who supports live music. We couldn't do what we love without you!