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James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio | Blue Violin: A Jazz Legacy

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Jazz quartet Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Blue Violin: A Jazz Legacy

by James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio

This album from violinist James Sanders is a swinging tribute to the legacy of Jazz Violin paying tribute to the likes of Stuff Smith and Johnny Frigo.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Voyage
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
4:35 $0.99
2. It Might as Well Be Spring
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
4:30 $0.99
3. Blue Violin
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
3:47 $0.99
4. Bouncing With Bud
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
3:49 $0.99
5. Manhattan
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
6:03 $0.99
6. S.O.S.
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
5:25 $0.99
7. Falling Grace
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
5:08 $0.99
8. Seven Steps to Heaven
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
3:18 $0.99
9. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
James Sanders & the Kevin O'Conell Trio
4:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This music is, in a way, over two decades in the making. When violinist James Sanders returned home to Chicago in 1989 after earning a performance degree at Yale, he thought of himself as a classical musician. But a chance encounter with jazz violin legend Johnny Frigo changed all that. Frigo heard the young man busking on the street and invited him to his weekly club gig. He was soon sitting in between Frigo’s sets and discovering the pleasures of jazz improvisation. A seed was planted.
Over the next 22 years Sanders honed his chops as both a leader and collaborator in various contexts: Latin jazz, free improvisation, Gypsy swing, third stream and more, all the while holding down a chair in an orchestra. He also learned that Chicago was home to a storied jazz violin tradition: Besides Frigo, Eddie South, Darnell Howard and Stuff Smith had all spent time here.
In 2012, Sanders decided the time was right to honor that tradition with a straight up jazz recording. No Latin, nothing outside, just pure jazz. He enlisted pianist Kevin O’Connell, a veteran keyboardist who was a member of Clifford Jordan’s quartet in the 1980s and has a long list of credits with Philly Joe Jones, Vernel Fournier, Al Grey, Billy Hart and many more.
They selected nine classics and set about writing fresh arrangements. Ranging from hard bop to post bop and back to the Great American Songbook, they all provide a great platform for Sanders’ incisive yet spirited playing. The rhythm section of O’Connell, bassist Stewart Miller and drummer George Fludas swings hard when called for and provides elegantly restrained support on the ballads. There is almost none of the rep associated with violin. Instead, Sanders takes on the role of a horn player on tunes written with sax or trumpet in mind. The sole exception is Stuff Smith’s Blue Violin. “Without guys like Stuff,” says Sanders, “I never would have taken this journey.”
Don Macica
October, 2012



to write a review

William Kurk- Musicianarian

Justice finally done to Jazz Violin
In the stream of time, there are many violists with the technical aptitude to perform all kinds of music, but the jazz violinist is a rare breed of musician, much like the Liger or the Tigon; living in two worlds that typically don't coincide with the demands of the instrument. James Sanders is a profound classical performer, as well as a jazz savant. This album is the perfect manifesto for those who want to get acquainted with the world of jazz violin, and do so without having to compile a collection of records from Johnny Frigo and Jean Luc-Ponty. This recording is well-captured, performed with exquisite taste and precision, and has the spirit of something special that should always be the essence of a recording. From the beginning of the album, featuring an arrangement of Kenny Barron's bop journey "Voyage", til the very end that highlights a sentimental version of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", this album is truly a science and a feeling made complete by the musicianship, integrity, and balance of the recording. If I didn't say "I highly recommend it", I just did, so do yourself a favor and get the physical CD.