The Paul Ayick Quartet | For G.A.

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For G.A.

by The Paul Ayick Quartet

Jazz in the tradition of all the greats before me; Armstrong, Parker, Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, etc.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. War Dance
7:32 $0.99
2. What Band?
9:32 $0.99
3. Little Latin Thing
8:54 $0.99
4. Museum Piece
7:14 $0.99
5. For G.A.
7:34 $0.99
6. Indecision
6:43 $0.99
7. 2013
6:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The band:

Paul Ayick, trumpet and flugelhorn
Shay Eishen, drums
Leon “Senegal” Apostolo, contra bass violin
Vaughn V “Keys” Henry, piano
Pylyp Romanov, tenor and soprano saxophones

Making this recording was some of the most fun I’ve had playing in years! Many of these songs were composed more than 10 years before Shay, the oldest member of the group, was born and 20-plus years before the other players. That it was such a good time playing with these gifted musicians is really no surprise; it’s an extension of the camaraderie and affection we have for one another as a group and as individuals. It is to the credit of these young artists that they took the time and found the energy to stick it out and learn my music.
Shortly after my brother Gabe passed away, I drove from Ft. Lauderdale to Gaffney, South Carolina, where he resided, to sort his belongings. I drove back in a rented truck and called Shay while on the road to ask if he could give me a hand unloading it the following day. “No problem.” The next day, all four of them showed up: “We were getting together to rehearse your music, so we thought we would all come.” I was moved so deeply I will never forget it.

The Cats:

Shay Eishen: Shay is a South Florida native I met while we were both enrolled in the music department at FAU. We have been planning this project together for a few years, and it actually started with Shay and me playing just trumpet and drums a couple times a week at my house. Shay was only 20 or so when I met him and just getting into jazz drumming, but, even in his earliest developmental stages, he showed that he has all the right stuff. He is extremely melodic in his drumming and his style is a completely natural morphing of old and new. His drumming possesses great time, great feel, and great tone.

Leon “Senegal” Apostolo: Senegal is an amazing young bass player. Up until approximately a year before this recording, he played Fender bass (bass guitar) exclusively and not a lick on the bass violin (string bass). In just one year, he is already remarkably mature and fluent on the instrument. His tone is big and full, his time feel energetic and precise, and his musical instincts acute. Senegal, as well as Pylyp and Vaughn, are students at Broward College, where I work as an adjunct professor in the music department, and it was there that I met them.

Pylyp “Phil” Romanov: A native of the Ukraine, Phil’s involvement with music started at four years of age, when he began studying classical clarinet and piano. In sporadic conversations with him over the course of his first year at Broward, I discovered that Phil had vast knowledge of early jazz unusual for such a young player. This knowledge and his early classical background have resulted in a young jazz musician of atypical musical maturity. His lines are concise and extremely logical, and when composing a jazz solo he uses economy and space to good advantage. I hear the influences of Bechet, Armstrong, the “Prez” Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and other early luminaries in his conception. Pylyp lists Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, Sonny Rollins, and Zoot Sims as some of his many influences.

Vaughn V “Keys” Henry: At semester’s start of 2012, new students were being evaluated for placement in various ensembles at the college, and I walked in on Vaughn’s audition. I was drawn by what I was hearing: gorgeous, colorful chord voicings that bought to mind the great Ahmad Jamal.
Vaughn has numerous musical gifts: perfect pitch, a great memory for tunes, and a swinging gospel feel in everything he plays. He may be the best accompanist I have ever worked with, and, given my 50-plus years on bandstands, this includes some formidable pianists. Born in 1993, Keys grew up in Miami. He lists his piano influences as Mulgrew Miller, Oscar Peterson, and Marcus Roberts. As a performer, he is versatile in not only the genres in which he likes to perform, but also in the variety of instruments he plays—and he sings, as well.

Paul Ayick: I was born in 1947 in Paterson, New Jersey, and raised in Clifton, New Jersey. Clifton was noted for its music and musicians, and it was a short ride to Times Square. I began lessons at age five, and I could actually read music before I read English. I attended the New York College of Music; while I was enrolled, we became the music department at NYU. Seven semesters into my BA in music education, I decided I wasn’t interested in being a public school teacher and left. I spent the next 35 years playing in every imaginable venue.
In 2003, I began playing with the Jazz Rats Repertory Big Band at Florida Atlantic University. After learning that I had all those credits from my early school days, Dr. Tim Walters, the director of the band, encouraged me to come back to school. In 2006, I finished my BA and was invited to stay on as a graduate assistant. In 2008, at the age of 61, I received an MA in music composition.
My influences are too numerous to mention, but my mentor and probably the biggest influence on my musical direction was the great Kenny (Kinny) Dorham, one of the true giants of American creative music.
Pete, thanks for being here. D, I appreciate the guidance. I hope you all enjoy the music.



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George W. Harris

JAZZ RED MEAT! The Paul Ayick Quintet: For G.A.
Miss the sounds of vintage hard bop that used to come from labels like Blue Note and Prestige? Here’s a trumpeter, Paul Ayick, that’s got the tone and swagger of Lee Morgan and he leads a classic quintet with Shay Eishen/dr, Leon Apostolo/b, Phil Romanov/ts-ss and Keys Henry/p that hearkens to vintage Jazz Messengers, but sounds as fresh as the morning dew. You’ve got some wonderfully hard hitters like “War Dance” and “Indecisions” that have a punch like Joe Frazier, while a hip limbo on “Little Latin Thing” has Romanov’s soprano and Ayick’s horn frothing like a wave between Henry’s marvelous piano work. On tenor, Romanov delivers a sound that could fill a stadium, and he bears down like a jack hammer on “What Band?” and gets delicate along with Ayick on the title track. These guys make good music sound so easy, but if it were, there would be more releases like this, and since there ain’t you better get this one.