Rocky Yera | Just Practice

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Latin Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Just Practice

by Rocky Yera

Featuring all original compositions and arrangements of Rocky, along with the guest work of multi-Grammy award winning saxophone superstar, Jeff Coffin of Dave Matthews Band, and the work of multi-Grammy award winning producer, Richard Aspinwall.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Back in Miami
6:52 $0.99
clip
2. Mr JC and the Baby Maker (feat. Jeff Coffin)
8:26 $0.99
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3. It Feels Me Better
7:41 $0.99
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4. Are Fast Songs Pretty?
5:32 $0.99
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5. It's Been a While
7:32 $0.99
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6. Good Old Songs
5:26 $0.99
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7. Belonging
4:34 $0.99
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8. Just Practice
6:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Rocky Yera “Just Practice”

Recorded in 2015 on March 10, 11, and 12th at Rax Trax Studio, Chicago, IL

Additional recording at Aspin Studio, Miami, Fl

Executive Producer: Ari Mintz

Producer: Richard Aspinwall

Recorded by: Richard Aspinwall, Noam Wallenberg
Assisted by: Tom Santelle

Mixed by: Richard Aspinwall
Assisted by: Danielle Silverman

Artwork and Design: Losada Illustration & Design

Photography: Adrian Nastase Photography



These songs are dedicated to all the people in my life that helped form the person I am today.
Without them, none of this music would have been created.

Deep thanks to: God, my Wife, Mom, Dad, Richard Aspinwall, the Grundhofers, Ari Mintz,
and all the musicians.

Special thanks to: Jim Gillespie, Bob Ojeda, Luminarts Cultural Foundation,
Adrian Nastase Photography, and Losada Illustration & Design.

All songs composed and arranged by Rocky Yera. © 2018. All rights reserved.

“Back in Miami”
I wrote “Back in Miami” as a newly wed. Miami was where I spent the majority of my childhood and is also where my wife and I met and spent our first year of marriage after our wedding in Chicago. As I wrote this tune, my goal was to try to present an odd time feel as seamlessly as possible. I also wanted it to have a latin-salsa flavor and wrote it to feature the wonderful montuno piano work of my long time friend and pianist, Darwin Noguera.

“Mr. JC and the Baby Maker”
Soon after learning my wife was pregnant with our second child I decided to write a new tune and needed a title. Nothing came to me at the time and my witty wife suggested, “The Baby Maker”. We both laughed, so the phrase was a keeper. I wanted to write a playful tune with an up-tempo funky sound to entertain the title. This tune is a fun one for me because its funky nature gives me an excuse to have my sax/guitar effects come out and play.
When I think of funky saxophone, the person that comes to my mind is none other than the great Jeff Coffin. His mastery on the instrument, his funky style, and his use of electronic guitar effects in his music have greatly impacted me and influenced me to study and explore the electronic effects world as an additional musical palette. I am honored to have him featured on this track.

“It Feels Me Better”
One evening I was sitting at the table with my wife and three year old daughter. We were eating a meal that was salty and lightly spicy. That light spice apparently was overwhelming to my daughter, and after taking a calming sip of her cool root beer soda, in her cute three year old voice she proceeded to say “AAAAAaaaaahhh! It feels me better”. Of course, I was then determined to write a “feel good” tune to remember that moment.


“Are Fast Song Pretty?”
Fast jazz, or any type of fast music, is rarely referred to as beautiful or pretty music. Because of the speed, some natural human reactions to it are excitement, tenseness, energy, playfulness, etc... However, many up-tempo jazz melodies are beautiful when enjoyed at a much slower tempo. I was intrigued by the beauty and versatility of many bebop melodies; enough so that I was inclined to compose a ballad that could make the transition to an up-tempo bebop tune. Pianist Darwin Noguera is featured on the ballad intro of the theme.

“It's Been a While”
I ran into a childhood friend of mine after years of not seeing him at my university. We ended up playing together at one of the university's practice rooms for over an hour. Not one word was spoken and it was like we had just seen each other and no time had passed since our childhood years. We then had a great time conversing and catching up with our lives. That experience inspired this tune.

“Good Old Songs”
During my time in New York, I woke up one morning with the desire to slow everything down for a few hours. With so much time and energy spent pushing forward as an artist, I don't often stop to appreciate the beauty of the of the old vocal jazz standards. I decided to write an old fashioned styled melody to reflect on that sound and period.

“Belonging”
I wrote “Belonging” when I lived in New York. I wanted to compose a piece that reflected the hard work and dedication necessary to succeed in the New York scene. Coming from a Latin background, I spent some time studying the traditional 4/4 latin clave and its associated rhythms. I experimented with the traditional clave groove in unconventional ways by extending it and shortening it in different ways, like with the “Back in Miami” clave-based groove, which is one beat shorter. One of the elongated grooves that I crafted particularly stuck out to me. I then wanted to compose a melody that could line up to my newly formed hybrid 5/4, two measure Latin clave-based groove. “Belonging” is the result.

“Just Practice”
This was the first tune I ever wrote and for many years was simply called “Rocky's First Tune.” I was thirteen at the time and was playing with a group called “The Miami District Youth Band.” We played weekly at churches within the Miami District and also had the opportunity to tour the United States playing different Churches and Christian conferences, spreading the gospel. This group was led by producer Richard Aspinwall, who became a life long mentor and friend. His musical guidance inspired me to write “Just Practice”, which I wrote the first year I was with the band. Richard has had a tremendous influence on me and my music. Throughout the years, whenever I faced challenges, he was very supportive and would offer me advice and consolation, always concluding with the phrase “Rocky, “Just Practice”.



Musicians:
Tenor Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone with Effects, Shaker, Tambourine, Clave: Rocky Yera
Alto Saxophone: Jeff Coffin
Trumpet, Cowbell, Guiro, Clave: Victor Garcia
Piano, Wurlitzer Electric Piano: Darwin Noguera
Organ: Pete Benson
Guitar: Aaron Lebos
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Juan Pastor
Drums: Xavier Breaker
Conga and Timbales: Jose Gregorio Hernandez

“Back in Miami”:
Tenor Sax: Rocky Yera
Trumpet, Cowbell, Guiro, Clave: Victor Garcia
Piano: Darwin Noguera
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Juan Pastor
Conga and Timbales: Jose Gregorio Hernandez

“Mr. JC and the Baby Maker”
Alto Saxophone (Melody Counter Line and Closing Solo): Special Guest, Jeff Coffin
Tenor Sax (Melody), Tenor Sax with Effects Solo, Shaker, Tambourine: Rocky Yera
Wurlitzer Electric Piano: Darwin Noguera
Organ: Pete Benson
Guitar: Aaron Lebos
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Xavier Breaker

“It Feels Me Better”:
Tenor Sax with Effects, Shaker, Tambourine: Rocky Yera
Wurlitzer Electric Piano: Darwin Noguera
Organ: Pete Benson
Guitar: Aaron Lebos
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Xavier Breaker

“Are Fast Songs Pretty”:
Tenor Sax: Rocky Yera
Trumpet: Victor Garcia
Piano: Darwin Noguera
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Juan Pastor

“It's Been a While”:
Tenor Sax with Effects, Tambourine: Rocky Yera
Wurlitzer Electric Piano: Darwin Noguera
Organ: Pete Benson
Guitar: Aaron Lebos
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Xavier Breaker

“Good Old Songs”:
Tenor Sax: Rocky Yera
Trumpet: Victor Garcia
Piano: Darwin Noguera
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Juan Pastor

“Belonging”:
Tenor Sax, Clave: Rocky Yera
Trumpet, Cowbell, Guiro: Victor Garcia
Piano: Darwin Noguera
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Juan Pastor
Conga and Timbales: Jose Gregorio Hernandez

“Just Practice”
Tenor Sax: Rocky Yera
Piano: Darwin Noguera
Organ: Pete Benson
Guitar: Aaron Lebos
Bass: Josh Ramos
Drums: Juan Pastor







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