From the beginning, this cd has felt magical. Hence the title, lifted from “PETER PAN”, STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING. The music, much of which are orginal tunes and arrangements took on a magical quality, especially with the electricity of inspired muscians and in the enviornment of a mystical “old soul” studio, which is a favorite for some of the world's greatest talents.
When my wife Linda and I began dreaming of this project it was decided that I'd do something a little different from the Basie big band which I've been a part of, again, since 1997. I wanted to present a broad scope of everything from a trio to an octet, from straight ahead swing to a touch of be-bop and some Latin jazz thrown into the overall mix. I have no one “style”. I've always been open to all facets of jazz.
I began to call some of my favorite musicians and ask if they would like to participate in this experiment. I was thrilled when they all said Yes! So what you are about to hear is not just another “straight-ahead-jam-session” jazz cd. It's been well thought out, arranged (with two exceptions) and composed (with a few exceptions) by my right hand man and co-producer, Bob Ojeda.
The line-up is pretty impressive: BOB OJEDA (Trumpet, original compositions, arrangements and co-producer), BILL PORTER on trombone - you may be happily surprised at this artist's musicality, DOUG LAWRENCE on tenor saxophone swings at the drop of a hat and will impress you with his power, Kenny Drew, Jr., piano, there is No One Better, Lynn Seaton on bass brings his own special voice to the rhythm section, my special guest stars - on flute and tenor saxophone (we call him MAGIC) Mister Frank Wess and my dear friend on one tune (It's all the time he could give - he's a very busy man) Mister Alex Saudargas on guitar (Check out his intro to “Dreamsville”)
Many wonderful things happened during the sessions: Frank Wess on flute, Lynn Seatons' great solo on “Cute”, Kenny Drew's ONE take on the Billy Strayhorn tune “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing”, Bob Ojeda writing “Franks' Blues” on the spot during a lunch break in the studio.
We were pleased to record at Pedernales Studios outside of Austin, Texas, owned by the great Willie Nelson - an American icon. Isolated in the “hill country” of Texas, Pedernales Studios lends itself to a creative environment nestled next to a golf course where some of the world's greatest recording artists' can be seen taking a golf break during a session.
I want to thank everyone involved in this project. They all gave 110%. All the musicians, our recording engineer Larry, Hans and Sabine for believing in and supporting me and Frank Nagel-Heyer for the final mix and hard copy of this cd. Of course my thanks to Ludwig Drums, Avidis Zildjian Cymbals and Vic Firth Sticks. I Love You All - Madly!!
Finally, I wish to thank my wife, the Lady Linda, whose support and untiring efforts behind the scene everyday made everything possible. In the words of the Beatles (“In My Life”), I LOVE YOU MORE.
Enjoy the music and “Straight On Till Morning”.