02 Jan Island Time out on Conch Town Records
My first record of all-original Jazz-Fusion tunes is out on Key West-based Conch Town Records! Read about it and listen here:
The album was composed and recorded in the Florida Keys, and is a musical rendering of my impressions of Key West, among my most favorite places.
Here are my artist’s notes about the album:
A Travel Log In Sound
Key West is a special place for so many people, and I’m no exception. What is special about it for most are the beaches, the resorts and hotels, the bars, restaurants and shops, and the charm. For others it’s the culture, the history, the charm of the old wooden houses, and for all of us, it’s being on this small island away from the stresses and demands of life. What I think makes it among my most favorite places is the people. There is an openness here that is unexpected. People are really friendly here. It’s easy to cultivate long-lasting friendships that get renewed upon each visit. People are supportive of each other, look after each other, and there is a fabric to society here that often doesn’t exist back home.
All of this is both why and how this album came to be. The “how” stems from that friendship and support. I came in late December one year not too long ago to work in the local music scene, as I have been doing for nearly 20 years now. I was staying at the home of a good friend and musician Philip Sampson, who runs the music on Little Palm Island. One day he showed me a keyboard he bought recently, and a multi track recorder, and suggested I experiment with it and see what I can come up with. 24 hours later, I had the basics of this album! For a number of personal and professional reasons (I won’t go into details here, but I’m sure many of you can commiserate), I hadn’t written anything new in a long time. But everything just flowed, and I ended up a complete album of material in a style I didn’t expect to venture into. As I listened to each track, images were coming to my mind for each tune, almost like a music video for each. Gradually, the titles came to me based on the “videos” that would play in my head, and an order took shape.
At the time, I had no idea what to do with this material. As a jazz artist, it didn’t fit into the profile of material I usually work with, so I couldn’t work with the same record labels that I have cultivated relationships with so far. I ended up reworking all of the songs, refining them a bit during the pandemic, while finishing my masters degree, and decided that it was a project worth putting some effort and resources into releasing. It occurred to me that Conch Town Records was the most logical place to go to see about finding a good home for this album. Initially it was turned down, but I took the advice of another friend, Ralph DePalma, who suggested I try again. I couldn’t be happier to have this album come out on the home team label!
-Arrivals Lounge—From the moment you disembark from the plane and breathe the early evening air, you feel yourself relaxing into a happier space, and thoughts drift to how best to see the sunset. The evening holds potential for all kinds of delights, and places, both familiar and new, await.
-Sun And Sea—The song opens with the shimmer of the sun on the water. It’s early in the day, and all you have to do right now is let the sun and the sea nourish your body and soul.
-I Need Your Love— We all know that feeling that we get, the intensity of emotion that floods us when we’re with that one special person. Here it is in sound.
-The Big Banana—This is the nickname for my friend Phil Sampson’s house. He has truly built a small universe there with his hands, a place of inspiration and wonder. It’s where this album was born.
-Far Away—While we come here to get away from it all, there’s always someone back home who is too far away. As we find ourselves again, and recover our energies, thoughts drift to that someone.
-Monday Night Madness — One of my favorite places to perform has a Monday night special, half off on their whole martini menu. They always have a really thumping band on stage that night, and this is my musical impression of the ambience on one of those nights.
-Cold Front—Back home the snow piles up, the wind bites, and we bundle up. We come for the sun and sea, but sometimes winter makes an appearance. No snow, no bundling up, but the wind and rain remind us that we can’t have paradise every day. We always have to be ready for the unexpected.
-Duval By Night—After a day of sun and sea, it’s time to quench the appetites. A stroll down Duval provides great people-watching. You’ll see the most unexpected combination of people, dressed for anything and everything, and even in the most unexpected vehicles imaginable. The restaurants and bars, the shops and galleries all await with all kinds of temptations.
-Departures Lounge—The day has finally arrived to go back. As you sit waiting to board your flight, you think back to the experiences of the stay, and the relaxation, the recharged batteries you take with you. You’re not the same person you were the day you arrived. There is a sadness to be leaving, but you’ll always be welcomed back.