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Tim Mayer! Jazz woodwind specialist & educator from Boston, Massachusetts

December 15, 2011


It’s here!

1. For Miles 5:15

2. Escapade 6:50

3. Emperor March 7:22

4. I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears…6:28

5. Fire & Ice 5:32

6. Dance of the Infidels 4:07

7. Who Knew? 3:52

8. Blue Lace 5:17

9. Work 6:12

10. Klimo 9:54



Tim Mayer – tenor saxophone

George Cables – piano

Dezron Douglas – bass

Willie Jones III – drums

Special Guests:

Claudio Roditi – rotary trumpet

Mark Whitfield – guitar

Greg Gisbert – trumpet

Michael Dease – trombone

Dominick Farinacci – trumpet

Robert Edwards – bass trombone

Woodwinds on “Emperor March”

Don Braden – flute

Robert Foster – alto flute

Michael Thomas ‚Äď clarinet


Produced by: John Lee and Michael Dease

Executive Producer: Lisa Broderick

One of the best tenor saxophonists to come along in years. Tim Mayer’s approach to the horn is sophisticated, passionate, and lyrical.  His big sound is warm and powerful.  Listen for yourself. Tim Mayer is definitely here to stay!

“A powerful new voice has arrived on the
jazz scene, and he‚Äôs a bad dude.‚Ä̬† – Jimmy Heath

‚ÄúIt always gives me pleasure to meet younger musicians who have one foot in the past, one foot in the present, and their souls firmly rooted in the future of music.¬† Tim Mayer is one of those musicians! ‚Ä̬†– Claudio Roditi.

Tim Mayer’s exposure to music, namely jazz and exotica, began at age 4, when he learned to work his parents’ record player. His favorite records were by Wes Montgomery, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, and Martin Denny. He started playing saxophone when he was ten, and began learning jazz at Florida State University’s Summer Music Camp in 1980, where he found himself studying with many young and talented musicians including Marcus Roberts. In December of 1990, Tim began what was to be a three-year stint working aboard the cruise ships. This provided him with the opportunity to study a variety of styles and play in big bands that accompanied entertainers Al Martino, Vic Damone, Diahann Carrol, Bobby Rydell, Connie Stevens, Jack Jones, and many others.

In September of 1993, Tim attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied privately with Andy McGhee, George Garzone, and Bill Pierce. In 1998, Tim opened for Chucho Valdez at the Baranqui Jazz Festival in Baranquilla, Columbia. In February of 2003, he performed and recorded with the RG Jazz Orchestra in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands of Spain. That same year, he partook in the 4th Seminar and Jazz Festival in Jalapa, Mexico as a performer and clinician.

Tim has performed locally with visiting artists John Faddis, Bob Mintzer, Marvin Stamm, Arturo Sandoval, Nick Brignola Bobby Shew, and Ed Calle, percussionists Eguie Castrillo, Horacio ‚ÄúEl Negro‚ÄĚ Hernandez, and Giovanni Hidalgo; trombone greats Phil Wilson and Slide Hampton, and pianists Kirk Lightsey (in Seville), and Danilo Perez. Tim Mayer and Rusty Scott have collaborated to perform a tribute to the Tough Tenors (Johnny Griffin/Eddie ‚ÄúLockjaw‚ÄĚ Davis) and the Boss Tenors (Sonny Stitt/Gene Ammons), which has featured on different occasions as special guests Bill Pierce or Andy McGhee.

In 2007, and 2008, Waitiki won consecutive Hawaii Music Awards for three consecutive releases, Charred Mammal Flesh, Rendezvous In Okonkuluku, and in 2009, Paradise Lost And Found, which was produced by Jim Beloff featuring the arranging and instrumental talents of Waitiki, is nominated for the award.

2009 has also seen a Grammy nomination for another group with which Tim has been affiliated for a long time. La Clave Secreta, the Timba Salsa brainchild of pianist/arranger Gonzalo Grau, was nominated for Best Latin/Caribbean Album. While it didn’t win, losing to Jose Feliciano is hardly a disappointment.

Since 2001, he has been on the Berklee faculty teaching at the Saxophone Weekend, the Five-Week Program, Berklee’s City Music Saturday School and as Outreach faculty at Boston Arts Academy, and filling in for various faculty members during the year.

Review from Jazz In Space:

It defies belief that ‚ÄúResilience‚ÄĚ (JLP Records) is a debut recording from the young tenor saxophonist, Tim Mayer, chiefly because he sounds so old — as in experienced, polished and professional. Cohesively constructed, the album suggests that Mayer has a crush on cool school sounds originally swung by guys like Zoot Sims and Frank Wess. This is exuberant stuff that‚Äôs given the full workout by its cast of players like pianist George Cables, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Willie Jones III; all of them top notch talent. Also remarkable is Mayer‚Äôs guest list that includes trumpeters Claudio Roditi, Greg Gisbert and Dominick Farinacci, trombonist Michael Dease, guitarist Mark Whitfield and Don Braden on flute. Slavish to the groove, Mayer leads his all-stars through vintage jazz hits by Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Fats Navarro (a juicy ‚ÄúDance Of The Infidels‚ÄĚ) and Thelonious Monk‚Äôs ‚ÄúWork,‚ÄĚ where he cleverly echoes the great Charlie Rouse. Fresher still are hard-line showstoppers like Dease‚Äôs sublimely swinging ‚ÄúFor Miles‚ÄĚ where Mayer spins out notes with a delirious glee and Cable‚Äôs own ‚ÄúKlimo,‚ÄĚ a bossa inflected bop tune that‚Äôs animated by its darting melodic lines and fusion of horns. Mayer‚Äôs effortless proficiency extends to ballads (the solid ‚ÄúI Guess I‚Äôll Hang My Tears Out To Dry‚ÄĚ) and his own rapid fire ‚ÄúWho Knew‚ÄĚ that pairs the saxophonist with guitarist Whitfield, hammering their notes home in perfect unison. ‚ÄúResilience‚ÄĚ is a breathlessly exciting, straight-ahead recording. (10 tracks; 60:51 minutes) ¬†Get it here.

There are few challenges so great as being a side man on someone else’s Jazz project. ¬†The line between what you can do and what the project needs to make it the best it can be is everything. ¬† It’s also a great honor. ¬†It means someone out there values who you are and what you do to the point that they see you as a valuable asset to the project. ¬†I have been very proud to have participated in these great CD’s.

John Hazilla & Saxabone,  Form & Function

(CIMP #142, 1997)jon_hazilla-form_function_span3

John Hazilla-drums, percussion

Jim Odgren-alto saxophone

Greg Badolato-tenor saxophone

Tim Mayer-baritone saxophone

John Pierce-trombone

Partial track listing:

Eternal Triangle (Sonny Stitt)

Our Man Higgins (Lee Morgan)

Crepuscule With Nellie (T. Monk, arr. Tim Mayer)

A Little Busy (Bobby Timmons)

Cubrazil (John Hazilla)

Yoko Miwa, In The Mist Of Time



Yoko Miwa-piano

Tim Mayer-tenor saxophone

Massimo Biolcati-bass

Scott Goulding-drums

produced by Yoko Miwa, recorded, mixed, mastered by Peter Kontrimas at PBS Studios

All songs by Yoko Miwa except Red Dragonfly (Japanese traditional)

Fragmented Memories

The Deep End

I’m Okay


In The Mist of Time

When Will “It” Happen


Oak Square Blues

Red Dragonfly

Ahimsa, Never The Same Way Once

(OFC0001, 2000 Parajite Records)

produced by Rahul Roy, recorded by Yasko Kubota

Tim Mayer-tenor & alto saxophones, flute, EWI

Yasko Kubota-piano & keys

Archie Kubota-bass & taiko drums

Harvey Wihrt-percussion

Rahul Roy-guitars, vocals

All songs by Rahul Roy except as noted


Never The Same Way Once


54 Duncan Terrace (Alan Holdsworth)


Hand In Hand (Ralph Towner)

Like Father Like Son


“Short Bread” – Rusty Scott Quartet (2000)

Rusty Scott (piano), Tim Mayer (saxophone), Keala Kaumehiewa (bass), Luther Gray (drums)

Track List

1.¬† Paul’s Blues
2.  Toddy for the Body
3.  Uncle Santos
4.  Bloodcount
5.¬† Fishin’
6.  Saturday Afternoon
7.  Raincheck
8.  No One Even Asked Me
9.   Short Bread
10.   The Mule
11.   Waltz Swing

Ed Symkus of The Tab:

Tenor man¬†Tim Mayer¬†offers up some of the warmest and swingingest sounds around. The Boston-based quartet is at it’s seamless best on Scott’s light and boppy “Saturday Afternoon,” while Billy Strayhorn’s “Raincheck” comes across as the most musically adventurous arrangement, and the title cut, penned by Mayer, makes for four minutes of total joy.

“Every Time” – RUSTY SCOTT QUARTET (1997)

Rusty Scott (piano), Tim Mayer (sax), Keala Kaumehiewa (bass), Harold Layne (drums)

Track List

1.  Dog Tired
2.  Every Time
3.  Pulse
4.  Kiwi Ah-ha
5.  Cane Bay
6.  Blues for Luanda
7.¬† It’s Alright with Me

Cadence Magazine:

Every Time’s third cut, Pulse, is a classic example of traditional jazz sounds, spotlighting the rhythm section.¬†[Tim] Mayer¬†can completely energize the mood with his sax. My favorite track is Cane Bay, inspired by a favorite diving spot in St. Croix. It’s the kind of tune playing when you huddle up at a bar with a drink and a cigarette feeling completely sorry for yourself. It’s a beautiful melancholy jazz journey that leaves you encouraged in the end. It’s Scott’s and Mayer’s writing styles that make this an exceptional album.

The Rusty Scott Quartet combines traditional and modern jazz in a style all their own. Every Time is the best jazz CD I have heard in my years of writing for this magazine.

Douglas Sloan, Metronome Magazine:

Just when I was hoping for some well played jazz, up comes the Rusty Scott Quartet for review. This excellent band of musicians featuring pianist Rusty Scott and saxophonist Tim Mayer are some of the tightest jazz ‘cats’ you’ll hear on the Boston jazz scene. They incorporate their love of swing with a contemporary slant that is widely appealing and subtly sensual. Tim Mayer’s sax playing smokes while Scott’s piano playing is second to none. These guys are great! So, put ‘Every Time’ in your CD player and get ready to snap your fingers and tap your toes because, the Rusty Scott Quartet has arrived!”

October 7, 2010

5LMN2 – Los Cinco Elementos

Tim Mayer, saxophones
Kevin Harris, piano
Gabo Lugo, conguero

Keala Kaumeheiwa, bass

David Rivera, drums

This group is a vehicle for exploring the deeper areas of the traditions of Jazz and Afro-Cuban music.

At one end of the tree, Conguero Gregorio Bento’s roots in Cuban rumba extend to Santeria and Bat√°, which are the traditions brought from Africa to Cuba, and are the fuel for the spiritual fire present in the ceremonies held by practitioners dressed all in white. The rhythms drive the dancers to enter a trance, which invites the Orishas, or Saints, to posess the body of the dancer.

On the other end, my roots as a saxophonist extend to the point where spirit meets music. One of the seminal figures in this pursuit was John Coltrane, who extended the boundaries of Jazz to include African Middle Eastern and Asian spirituality and tonality.

The repertoire of this group is populated by the seldom heard and even more seldom recreated compositions of Monk, Coltrane, and others, including “Work,” “Brilliant Corners,” “Friday the 13th,” by Monk; and “Lonnie’s Lament,” “A Love Supreme” (the complete 4 movement suite) by Coltrane.

Press for 5LMN2

From “Three Nights” by Jon Garelick/Boston Phoenix:

At Ryles on Saturday July 7, saxophonist Tim Mayer fronted 5LMN2, an outfit that had its inception at Wally’s in 1993 and has been around in one form or another ever since. The 5LMN2 agenda has been Afro-Latin jazz or standard jazz played in Latin arrangements. (The name, if you read it in Spanish, comes out as the five elements.) In the middle set of three at Ryles, the band mixed it up with Cedar Walton’s √Ę‚ā¨ŇďBolivia, Monk’s Evidence, Joe Henderson’s Serenity and Inner Urge,¬Ě and Puerto Rican composer Pedro Flores’s standard Obsesi√≥n.

The Monk expert Steve Lacy once described all of Monk’s tunes as dances, so it was no surprise to see the band make the most of the displaced accents of Evidence¬Ě with the 3-2 clave beat. Pianist Marcello Casagrandi emphasized rhythmic chording throughout the set, and he was so inventive in his change-ups that for a brief moment in hisBolivia¬Ě solo he even threw off the otherwise imperturbable rhythm team of drummer Pablo Pe√Īa and conguero Paolo Stagnaro (son of Boston bassist Oscar). In the first couple of tunes, the details of Mayer’s tenor playing got buried in the heavy rhythmic mix (Fernando Huergo played electric bass), so it was good to hear him slice through on alto in Evidence.¬Ě But he really came to the fore on Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge,¬Ě clapping off the clave rhythm until piano came in with a repeating staccato cross-rhythm, then bass, then percussion, then finally tenor. Casagrandi built up to a staccato climax in his solo and then Mayer entered, slower and with lighter percussion underneath him, mixing up his phrasing, alternating short-phrased groupings and arpeggiated runs, reveling in a fat lower register that hadn’t been evident in the first couple of tunes, taking his time. It was beautiful. He was equally relaxed on the slow cha-cha-cha of Obsesi√≥n¬Ě and on Serenity,¬Ě which was a light rumba. There was plenty of abstraction in all of these, and plenty of rhythmic hurly-burly, but at their best, the band (who play Wally’s every Thursday night) reminded you why Afro-Latin jazz is so popular: they’re all dances, and the dance beat will draw you in no matter how far out the band take everything else.

Read Mr. Garelick’s entire article at The Phoenix website.

Download as a PDF: Jon Garelick – Boston Phoenix Article

August 8, 2010

Sol Y Canto

Back in 1997, fresh out of Berklee, I was always looking for better contacts, better gigs, trying to improve myself as a musician, and to maintain an upward trajectory careerwise. ¬†Renato Thoms, who at the time was the conguero and bandleader at Wally’s on Thursdays, referred me to Sol Y Canto, a ¬†Latin group with a focus on folkloric forms, which draws from a variety of styles from just about every tradition in Latin America. ¬†Led by Brian and Rosi Amador, a Cambridge-based couple who have been sharing the stage since about 1984, Sol Y Canto presents a tasteful selection of standards from these many cultures, as well as original compositions which embody those styles and deal with many themes of social conscience. ¬†They have produced a bilingual children’s album, titled “El Doble de Amigos-Twice As Many Friends.” I hasten to add that I appear on this CD.

I have performed sporadically with the band since 1997, and back in 2000, I referred them to a good friend of mine as a sub, Bernardo Monk, a talented and accomplished alto saxophonist from Argentina.  It ended up that Bernardo was offered the gig, which helped to support him during his time here in Boston.  He moved back to Buenos Aires back in November, thus reviving my relationship with the band, which also features some very talented musicians, good friends of mine for many years: Renato Thoms, pianist Nando Michelin, and bassist Jorge Roeder.

Lately, the band has been lining up tour dates for a new work called “Sabor Y Memoria.” ¬†Having premiered in Flint, MI, in Feb. ’10, “Sabor Y Memoria” is a musical offering in 7 courses, as Brian and Rosi often say when they talk about the show. ¬†With the addition of a string quartet, it also represents Brian’s most ambitious endeavor in composition and orchestration to date. ¬†Indeed, it does not fail to impress. ¬†Drawing from the usual wide variety of rhythms from all over Latin America, and with rich layered strings adorning the rest of the band, the work deals with the themes of food, cooking, hunger, culture, as viewed through Latin culture. ¬†Watch for upcoming performances in your area!

June 16, 2010


Waitiki 7, the septet of top-shelf musicians from a variety of backgrounds and styles led by bassist Randy Wong, is dedicated to revisiting the creative process that inspired composers and performers of the 50’s-70’s to create a genre of music which was comprised of¬†three musical roots, the Hawaiian/Polynesian, Latin, and Jazz. ¬†Exotica is music devoted to evoking images and telling stories. Currently, Exotica and Tiki culture are seeing a resurgence, which is enabling WAITIKI to grow as a group and a phenomenon.
From Wikipedia:

“Exotica is a musical genre, named after the 1957 Martin Denny album of the same title, popular during the late 1950s to mid 1960s typically with the suburban set who came of age during World War II. The musical colloquialism exotica means tropical ersatz: the non-native, pseudo experience of Oceania (Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Southeast Asia, and especially Hawaii). While the South Seas forms the core region, exotica reflects the “musical impressions” of every place from standard travel destinations to the mythical “shangri-las” dreamed by armchair safari-ers.”

Randy Wong contributes the majority of compositions, pianist Zaccai Curtis brings a deep understanding of both the Jazz and Latin traditions, as well as contributing compositions. ¬†Violinist Helen Liu, a brilliant musician active on the orchestral and chamber circuits between Boston and New York, enables the group’s sound to access the classical/orchestral side of Exotica. ¬†Drummer Abe Lagrimas Jr., who co-founded the band in 2003 with Randy, brings a wealth of talent and experience in Jazz, Hawaiian, and Latin music not only to the drum set, but vibraphone and ukelele. ¬†He is very active in Los Angeles, where he lives. ¬†Vibraphonist Jim Benoit, currently enrolled full-time at Berklee College of Music, is making waves on the Jazz scene, and the orchestral scene as well. ¬†Percussionist Lopaka Colon, based in Honolulu, HI, brings the true Exotica sound to life with his mastery of rhythm and texture, and is a master of producing bird calls using his voice, which is integral to the genre of Exotica.

Besides the evocative and exotic sounds of the music, which arises from the broad palette of rhythmic and melodic possibilities presented by drawing from each of the three main roots and combining them to get unique grooves and colors, one of the most important qualities of Exotica which likely contributed to its huge success was the conciseness of the melodies and their economy of notes to expression.  Les Baxter, Ken Darby, Martin Denny, and Robert Drasnin, all influential composers in the Exotica style, had backgrounds in orchestration and film scoring, besides being jazz musicians.  As a result of their training, their compositions were designed to evoke the intended mood to maximum effect with conciseness and precision, supported by tasteful orchestration and percussion.

I see Jazz music today losing its audience and find it deeply troubling. ¬†The old masters are leaving us, and among many younger players, there is a drive to play new things, to challenge themselves and each other rhythmically, harmonically, and melodically. ¬†There is some really exciting music being produced these days. ¬†Sadly, though, the tastes of the public are going in the other direction. ¬†Over the last 30 years, as school budgets experience downward pressure, arts education has been whittled down to next to nothing. ¬†Technology has become a substitute for talent in the fields of recording and performance. ¬†Labels have cut artist development budgets, as sales have declined. ¬†Image and marketing have become the new currency success is dealt in, while substance has taken a back seat. ¬†In short, the daunting task of dedicating one’s life to being a creative musician is made more and more difficult by the scarcity of the ever-shrinking audience.

Another aspect of Exotica which I find most appealing is that it is more than just a musical style.  It was initially part of a whole subculture, Polynesian Pop, which encompassed visual and plastic arts, namely photography, illustration, cinema, clothing and interior design; cuisine, and mixology.  Exotica was the sonic component to this amalgam of Polynesian art with mid-century kitsch.  It was everywhere in its heyday.  Movie soundtracks by Exotica composers were common.  Exotica was always heard as background music in the Hawaiian/Polynesian restaurants, which were ubiquitous all over the country.  Just about every town had one, and some of them rose to the level of being elaborate temples of the culture, featuring the food, the cocktails, elaborate interior decor, and some even had Hawaiian floor shows.

Waitiki 7 incorporates all these elements and celebrates the connection to this mid-century subculture, as evidenced by the artwork on our CD’s, and by the fact that we have an official drink menu which features drinks by well-known and published mixologist/historians such as Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Brother Cleve. ¬†A couple of these drink recipes will appear in the booklet accompanying our next release, “Adventures In Paradise,” along with a couple of appetizer recipes.

Having made the rounds in just about every Tiki festival on the calendar last year, including the W√§ssermusik Festival in Berlin and the Retro Cocktail Hour’s 500th broadcast in Lawrence, KS, Waitiki 7 is poised to reintroduce Exotica to the mainstream via the Jazz and World Music markets.

As an update, Waitiki has released the second of two CD’s as the fruit of a two-day recording session back in Feb. ’09. ¬†In those two days, which were of course long and focused, 23 complete tunes were recorded, with fixes and overdubs. ¬†The first CD, “Adventures In Paradise,” as mentioned above, was released to critical acclaim, and the band did a small tour which included venues in NYC, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Jersey City, and of course began at Ohana, THE weekend-long Tiki event for the Northeast. ¬†This next release, “New Sounds of Exotica,” features an original painting by Sam Gambino for the cover, more drink recipes, and, of course, some great Exotica.

December 25, 2009

Cape Verdean

I got my start in this style through the Mendes Brothers.  Ramiro Mendes is the first Cape Verdean to have graduated from Berklee College of Music, having double-majored in Film Scoring and Music Production & Engineering.  His horn arrangements reflect an understanding and appreciation for Jazz, R&B, and Salsa, yet adapted to the many different styles within Cape Verdean music their music covers.

The community of Cape Verdean musicians is like a large extended family. ¬†Music is the #1 export of that country; all Cape Verdeans, including nearly all ex-pats, know their music and the people who play it. ¬†In order to be able to function within this style, I had to learn its phrasing and sensibilities well enough to function as a native would. ¬†Much of that knowledge came from making the “Gira Sol” CD. ¬†I carefully studied Bana’s phrasing, as he is one of the legenary vocalists of this style. ¬†I also studied Ramiro’s horn lines. ¬†Each line has a distinct function, or role to play, depending on what else is going on in the song, what type of song it is. ¬†Once I was able to learn this vocabulary, I was able to begin writing horn arrangements for other artists’ CD’s. ¬†Word of this spread, and for the Bi√ļs CD, the executive producer sent the producer and the hard drives to Boston to “get the Bana horns on there. ¬†If you can’t get them, go to Miami and get the Miami Sound Machine horn section.” ¬†For that CD, I was told that a couple of tunes were more Salsa flavored, and so, having recently recorded La Timba Loca’s first CD and having played with them for a few years, that sound was in my head. ¬†The horns for “Mas Bonita” are a tip of the hat to Timba.

I have probably recorded on at least 100 Cape Verdean CD’s, most of which I have never seen. ¬†These are some of the more influential ones, or ones that I had the most participation in.

Bana, Gira Sol


mandymoorealbumAlthough I don’t listen to pop music, don’t identify with it, envision myself having a career in it, nor do I profess to know much about developments in the style, I have had many good experiences participating in these projects. ¬†I have been most fortunate to have friends in this genre with whom I have played numerous Jazz gigs. ¬†This brings the production values right into line with mine, and adds increases the camraderie and hence the hang factor significantly as well.

Mandy Moore, Amanda Leigh

Latin/Latin Jazz

I have always found Latin music to have such great energy and life.  Since coming to Boston, I have been fortunate to play with so many great musicians, and to participate in some great recordings.  I have learned a lot, and continue to grow.  A lot of great friendships have also resulted from my involvement with this music.

La Timba Loca, M√°s All√° de la Habana

(CJZ10005, 2001 CariJazz Productions)

f82214dz5c6Gonzalo Grau-piano, keys, drums, percussion, vocals

Alex Alvear-vocals

Manolo Mairena-vocals

Alvaro Benavides-bass

Ernesto Brice√Īo- electric violin

Ernesto Díaz-congas

Omar Ledezma-timbales, percussion

Albert Leusink-trumpet

Nestor Toro-alto saxophone

Tim Mayer-tenor saxophone

special guests:

Oliver Santana-saxophones (“Lloraras”)

Alexander Far√≠a-backing vocals (“Lloraras”)

Rodolfo Reyes-backing vocals (“Tibiri Tabara,” “Besito de Coco,” “Nina”)

Jos√© “Bam Bam” Ramirez-drums, congas (“Lloraras”)

Rafael “El Tigre” Ribas-introduction on “Lloraras”

produced, recorded, mixed mastered by Gonzalo Grau at Maldensazo Studios

all songs arranged by Gonzalo Grau

El Tíbiri Tábara (Daniel Santos)

La Manit√ļ (E. Brice√Īo)

Chacharepa (G. Grau)

Besito de Coco (Ismael Rivera)

Nina (Justi Barreto

Bienmesabe (A. Morales/F. Colón/G. Grau)

Lo que me pasó en la Guagua (Adalberto Alvarez)

Atracción Fatal (Carmelino) (Rafael Grecco)

Por Alegías (G. Grau)

Papita, Maní, Tostón (G. Grau)

Mi receta y mi sazón (G. Grau)

Llorar√°s (Oscar D’Leon)

La Clave Secreta, Frutero Moderno

(Gonzalo Grau, 2008)

23010.10Gonzalo Grau-keyboards, percussion, lead & backing vocals

Manolo Mairena-percussion, lead vocals

Alex Alvear-backing vocals

Marco Godoy-backing vocals

Panagiotis Andreu-bass, vocals

Pablo Bencid-drums

Ernesto Diaz-congas

Robbie Rosario-congas

Omar Ledezma-timbales

Fausto Cuevas-timbales, congas

Jos√© “Bam Bam” Ramirez-timbales

Albert Leusink-trumpet

Dan Brantigan-trumpet

Shlomo Cohen-alto saxophone

Felipe Salles-tenor saxophone

Tim Mayer-flute

produced by Gonzalo Grau, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Gonzalo Grau

Frutero Moderno

Calle Luna, Calle Sol


Sabor, Swing y Sahoco

Buche y Pluma

Amanecer en Calithea

A la Griega

La Polémica de la Mandarina

Fachada o Nada

Mujer Divina

Abre que Voy


Brass Roots, Purple Cha Cha Heels

June 7, 2009


May 7, 2009

Rusty Scott Quartet & Organ Group


One of Boston’s leading bearers of the standard of bebop and straight-ahead jazz.

Rusty Scott, piano
Tim Mayer, saxophone
Keala Kaumehiewa, bass
Luther Grey, drums

Founded in 1995, the Rusty Scott Quartet presents standards, jazz and bebop classics, and original compositions and arrangements with impeccable musicianship and style. Drawing on the legacies left by Bud Powell, Red Garland,Cedar Walton, Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Tommy Flanangan, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Johnny Griffin, Ron Carter, and many others, this group has distilled the values and standards held by each.

Synthesizing a style characterized by solid swinging groove, blazing uptempos, rich harmonies that flow, twist and turn, they are able to create improvisations filled with lyricism and humor that unearth unexpected truths and characters that inhabit the depths of each tune.

External website: RustyJazz.com

* * *

The Rusty Scott Organ Group

Rusty Scott, organ
Tim Mayer, alto & tenor saxophones
Mike Mele, guitar
Dave Brophy, drums


The result of an impulse buy inspired by seeing Jimmy Smith in person, this group features the sounds of the Hammond B-3 organ, guitar, saxophone, and drums.

The 60’s saw an explosion of popularity and expasion of the organ in jazz, as the Hammond B-3, infinitely more portable than pipe organs, and even pianos, was brought into jazz clubs everywhere. Many clubs replaced their pianos with B-3’s, which were cheaper to maintain and obviated the need to hire a bassist, as the organist takes that role with the left hand and left foot. ¬†Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, Groove Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff, are some of the artists who have contributed to the legacy of the instrument and set the bar for sound and style, which is followed by the Rusty Scott Organ Group.

My experiences living in Los Angeles in the mid-80’s performing at local clubs such as Vina’s Jazz Corner, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, the Friendly Room, and the Wich Stand, all of which had B-3’s and featured highly capable organists at the helm, introduced me to that style, and instilled in me the joys of ¬†the sound. ¬†Rusty has devoted a lot of time and careful study to the language and technique of the organ, and accurately captures the sound and character of that period, while contributing his own voice to the sound, and the new CD, The Thrill Is Gone, features some original compositions by Rusty and myself.


External website: Rusty Scott Organ Group on Myspace

April 21, 2009

Cape Verdean Projects

Cape Verde is one of the smallest countries in Africa, and is located 120 miles off the coast of Senegal, making it also the Westernmost of the African countries. Colonized by Portugal in the 12th century, Cape Verde has both influenced Portuguese music, and been influenced by it. When most people think of African music, dense polyrhythmic drumming and simple chants come to mind. In contradiction to that stereotype, the music of Cape Verde is melodic, melancholy, and harmonically rich. Each of the seven populated islands has its own set of distinct rhythms and styles, although some have become popular enough among the broader Cape Verdean Communityand beyond to become recognized around the world as the typical style. Morna and Coladera are the most popular styles. Morna’s best known voice is Cesaria Evora, and Coladera’s is Bana.

My involvement with Cape Verdean music goes back to one day in October of 1995. I was in my fourth semester at Berklee. The phone rang, and the man on the other end said, “Hi, my name is Ramiro Mendes, and I’m looking for a sax player to go to Angola for two weeks at the end of the month. Can you make it?” I asked how long I had to think about it, and he said, “How about five minutes?” I arranged for a leave of absence from Berklee for those two weeks, and began rehearsing with the band, The Mendes Brothers. As it turns out, Ramiro was one of the best-known producers and composers in the music, with many hit songs and recordings under his belt. My association with the Mendes Brothers would lead to my participation in many recordings, including three with The Mendes Brothers, three with Bana, and many many more with other well-known artists such as Maria de Barros, Bius, Jozinho, Belinda, and subsequent tours to Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, and Guinea Bissau in addition to local performances.

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