Jeff Alkire | One Summer in Winters

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Jazz: Post-Bop Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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One Summer in Winters

by Jeff Alkire

A modern Jazz CD that has some of the best up and coming New York artists on it.
Genre: Jazz: Post-Bop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. At this Moment
7:02 $0.99
2. Pancakes
6:24 $0.99
3. One Summer in Winters
6:01 $0.99
4. Why
7:36 $0.99
5. Weaver of Dreams
5:34 $0.99
6. Panama
9:53 $0.99
7. All the Things You Are
8:41 $0.99
8. Barbara
7:23 $0.99
9. November
3:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About the CD

One summer several years ago I was staying in a rustic house atop golden grass-covered hills outside of Winters, California. The place was alive with wildlife. The silence stretched forever until interrupted by the screech of a circling hawk or the howl of a coyote. I played my saxophone into the hills for hours, listening to it echo. One morning I looked up from practicing and saw a whole herd of mule deer staring at me in puzzlement. When I continued playing, they went back to grazing, periodically pausing attentively as if to take in the music. The entire melody for One Summer in Winters just came to me that day with all my deer “jazz fans” around me.

This whole CD project has unfolded in the same way. It came together so effortlessly. The band, some of the best young musicians out of New York, came together like no other. Everyone was so ego-free and in tune with the message of peace and beauty I wanted to convey. Their individual talents made this recording my favorite so far.

My good friend Craig Bailey from the Ray Charles Orchestra played alto flute and was instrumental in helping me put this band together. He currently directs the Brooklyn Big Band. The pianist, Kelvin Sholar, has quite a following in Europe. Esperanza Spalding, on acoustic bass, now tours with Joe Lovano. Riley Mullins is a trumpeter with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. And drummer Steve Johns performs with Sonny Fortune. The musicians on several additional cuts -- Darek Oles, Lorca Hart, Art Hirahara, Allison Miller, Chris Lightcap and Chuck MacKinnon – are friends from CalArts, Bay Area colleagues and NY notables. So they are all an incredible group of musicians.

With this album, I wanted to send something beautiful back into the world. The connection I felt that summer with my environment inspired the rest of the cuts. I put much thought into composing and selecting tunes that would not only complement each other, but send a message of man and nature peacefully coexisting. I hope this music takes you to the place I was…one summer in Winters.

About the Tracks

The great thing about music is that each composition takes you on a journey. Enjoy the ride!

1. At This Moment – This original with a straight eighth feel features a three-part harmony with alto flute, trumpet with harmon mute and alto saxophone

2. Pancakes – A modern, multi-metered up tempo jazz original featuring Steve Johns on drums and Riley Mullins on trumpet

3. One Summer in Winters – The title cut is an original jazz ballad that spotlights Craig Bailey on flute and Kelvin Sholar on piano

4. Weaver of Dreams – A medium swing jazz standard featuring Jeff Alkire on alto saxophone

5. Panama – An original medium Latin jazz piece highlighting Allison Miller on drums and Art Hirahara on piano

6. Barbara – A medium swing in six/four by the great Horace Silver

7. November – A beautiful bass feature for Esperanza Spalding written by Darek Oles

About the Band

Jeff Alkire, saxophone
Jeff has toured the Western Hemisphere and Japan as a saxophonist and flutist with the likes of Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Terry Gibbs, Joe Farrell, Charlie Haden, Art Lande, Chuck Isreals, Eddie Marshall, Bobby Shew, John Patitucci, John Stowell and Roger Smith. His ability to work in many stylistic idioms has created a musical palette ranging from his straight ahead compositions to soulful balladeering, the blues and world music. Jeff studied at Berklee College of Music and California Institute of the Arts where he earned a B.F.A. and M.F.A. degree in Jazz Performance. After graduating, he moved to Australia to join the Jazz Studies faculty to teach improvisation and big band full time at Adelaide University. He currently performs and teaches in California.

Craig Bailey, flute and alto flute
Woodwinds player, band leader and composer Craig Bailey moved to New York City from his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985 with a degree from the University of Miami. He hooked up with drummer Charli Persip's Superband and then toured Europe with the world renowned group of Panama Francis and his Savoy Sultans. After two years with the Savoy Sultans, Craig landed an audition with Ray Charles and became the lead alto saxophonist (1988-2004). While working with Ray Charles, Craig worked with other artists such as the TanaReid Quintet, co-led by bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Akira Tana (1990-1998); Bobby Watson's Tailor Made Big Band (1993-1996); and the Tom Harrell Big Band (1999-2001) to name a few. He developed his small group writing and playing style while apprenticing with the artists mentioned and others. His debut cd "A New Journey" met with critical acclaim, and is referenced in "The Encyclopedia of Jazz" (revised by Ira Gitler). His second release "Brooklyn" met with a favorable review in Jazztimes Magazine. Bailey is currently writing new music for a future cd release with the Brooklyn Big Band.

Riley Mullins, trumpet
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Riley’s career began with the Illinois Jacquet Big Band where he performed with guest artists Ray Charles, Etta Jones, and Clark Terry. As a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he played with Wynton Marsalis, Art Farmer, Natalie Cole and Gerry Mulligan at Lincoln Center. He has also performed in a number of well-known ensembles such as The Louis Hayes Quintet playing with Curtis Fuller at the Detroit and Montreaux Jazz Festivals, Cannonball Legacy Band, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Frank Foster Big Band, Ray Mantilla, David Murray Nonet, Cecil Brooks III and Matchbox Twenty. He appears on recordings with Wynton Marsalis and The Louis Hayes Quintet. Riley lives and works out of the New York area.

Kelvin Sholar, piano
Kelvin Sholar is a classically trained and award-winning pianist/keyboardist and composer. He has performed, collaborated and/or recorded all over the world with the New York City Ballet, Caron Wheeler, Ron Carter, Dj Carl Craig, Vinx, Qool Dj Marv, Amel Lerrieux, Greg Osby, Randy Crawford, Teodross Avery, Q-tip, Frank Wes, George Benson, Bobby Watson, Babyface, Common, Roy Hargrove, Wallace Roney, Gary Thomas, Meshell N’dege O’cello, Kenny Garrett, Jon Faddis, Marshall Allen, Ronnie Cuber, Patrice Rushen, Lenny White, Jerry Gonzales and Forte Apache, Winard Harper, Joy Denalane, Carmen Lundy, James Carter, Sean Lennon, Stuart Matthewman, Cindy Blackmon, T.C. Carson, Mark Turner, David Murray and many more.

Kelvin has won the following awards: Winner, Michigan Bach Festival Competition, 1990; IAJE Outstanding Musician, Montreaux/Detroit Jazz Festival, 1991; Outstanding Musician, Aquinas Jazz Festival, 1992; Best Soloist and Best Band, WEMU/Heritage Jazz Festival, 1993; Outstanding Pianist, The Clark Terry Jazz Camp, 1994. Since then, he has lectured on modern music in conservatories and universities in Greece, Japan, Brazil and the US (Columbia University) and has developed a unique method of musical theory in his book “The Sholar System.”

Esperanza Spalding, acoustic bass
Born in 1984, Esperanza Spalding, began playing in small jazz and blues venues around her hometown of Portland, Oregon. Soon she joined "Noise For Pretend," an eclectic jazz and pop fusion band and recorded two albums of original compositions with them. In 2002 she joined the hip-hop group Black Science Tribe, which gained a sizable following touring the West Coast. Since moving to the East Coast, Spalding has worked with such notable artists as Michel Camilo, Dave Samuels, Mark Walker, Byron Stripling, Regina Carter, The Boston Pops Orchestra, Pat Matheny, Bill Stewart, Teri-Lynn Carrington, Adam Rogers, Seamus Blake, Patti Austin, and performed solo singing and playing as the opening act for Bill Cosby. Spalding has toured with Joe Lovano, performing music from his Grammy award winning album "All for You", and Patti Austin playing music from Austin's Grammy nominated album "For Ella".

Spalding holds a B.M. from Berklee College of Music where she currently teaches. She is the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. She recently became a new artist for the management company Montuno and will be releasing a new album on the Barcelona based jazz label Ayva Music, with pianist Aruan Ortiz, and drummer Francisco Mela.

Steve Johns, drums
Drummer Steve Johns grew up in Boston in a very musical family. His mother was a songwriter and his uncle was the late great Jimmy “Bottoms Up” Tyler. After studying at the New England Conservatory of Music, Johns moved to New York and worked, recorded and collaborated with: Donald Byrd, Nat Adderley, Larry Willis, Walter Booker, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson The Count Basie Orchestra under Frank Foster, Gil Evans Orchestra under Gil and Miles Evans, George Russell, Don Friedman, Lou Donaldson, The Vanguard Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi/ Lew Tabakin Big Band, The Bob Mintzer Quartet and Big Band, John Hicks, George Cables, Peter Leitch, Larry Coryell, Peter Warren, Peter Yellin, Valerey Ponamarov, Junior Cook, Leon Thomas, The Sonny Fortune Quartet, Frank Morgan, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, Illinois Jacquet, The Billy Taylor trio, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Steve Kahn, Helen Merrill, Jack McDuff, Thomas Chapin Trio, Peter Brainin, Mario Pavone, Diane Schuur, Marty Ehrlich, Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Heath, John McNeil, Mingus Big Band, Dakota Staton, The Jon Faddis Quartet and many others. Steve was the drummer for NPR’s “Billy Taylor’s Jazz at The Kennedy Center” in which he recorded 75 shows with guests including Wynton Marsalis, Nancy Wilson, Joe Lavano, Arturo Sandoval, Ray Barreto, Milt Jackson, Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Grover Washington, Gary Burton, Harry Sweet Edison, etc.

Mr. Johns currently has two of his own recordings out on Malaco Cats Paw Records and Playscape Records. In addition to his busy performance schedule, he has taught at the Vermont Jazz Center, The Jazz In July Program at UMass, The Thelonius Monk Institute in Aspen Colorado, Williams College in Massachusetts and is currently an adjunct instructor at Montclair State University. He lives in the NYC area with his musical wife and son.



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