Last week was amazing… besides 3 nights at the Cully Jazz Festival with great concerts, jams, encounters and wine, I was lucky enough to see an amazing group of human beings record together. Thanks for letting me be part of it!
Besides Cully Jazz the theme of the week was South African – Swiss collaborations. Below you can find one of the amazing tunes. Performed by a all South African band. Most of them were in Switzerland last week and played in two different bands.
Franz von Chossy Quintet. One of the bands I’ve never heard live so far, but know their music from uncounted plays on my stereo at home.
Franz postet this youtube-link on Facebook today. Just great! He writes:
From our last China tour. My favourite part comes at the end, when Alex takes that extra solo round. Big thanks to all my band members and of course Peng Production for this wonderful memory. Hope you enjoy (turn up your speakers!).
Once a month I will include a tune composed and performed by Ben Wendel and a guest. He started the series with one of my favorite piano players, Taylor Eigsti and goes on with the great Saxophonist Joshua Redman.
Joshua Redman is one of my all-time favorite saxophonists and artists. I listened to his first album “Wish” with Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny and Billy Higgins countless times in college, and became a lifelong fan. To me his playing is an inspiring combination of joy and freedom coupled with complexity.
As the years have passed, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Josh and to get to know him better as an artist and a human. He has a genuine and intense curiosity for the musician’s process and is always checking out new folks on the scene, sharing his time with younger generations & looking for new ways to grow. In spite of his busy touring life, he always been incredibly generous with advice. Just to mention one example, he helped guide my search for the saxophone I currently play.
The inspiration for the February piece is both technical and musical. The former comes from literal elements in Josh’s playing – specifically, his amazing altissimo and ability to leap around effortlessly from the bottom to the top range of the horn. I also wanted the piece to reflect the playful quality I associate with Josh, and I tried to capture some of that essence in the writing.
It goes without saying I’m incredibly thankful to have had the chance to honor Josh’s artistry with this composition.
We recorded the piece in a beautiful private performance venue in Berkeley – the Maybeck Recital Hall. This space is a saxophonist’s dream and I’m very grateful to the current owner for allowing us to use the space!
I could have chosen several tunes of the two albums of Eric Harlands band Voyager, as I love most of them. Let’s start with Turn Signal from the first album Voyager live by night. Besides the lovely melody and harmonies I especially love the interplay of all the band members and the great soloing.