Sean J. Kennedy Quartet | Queen Anne's Revenge

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Queen Anne's Revenge

by Sean J. Kennedy Quartet

\"This new CD is indestructibly outrageous, and inexhaustibly refreshing. Real jazz, played with commitment and artistic depth from all.\" (-Tim Price). Philly Jazz quartet featuring Bob Mintzer and Liberty DeVitto.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Priceless
7:52 $0.99
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2. The Theme from The Munsters
4:51 $0.99
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3. Candy Sticks at The Palm Court
5:28 $0.99
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4. Cookin' at the Continental
6:44 $0.99
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5. Wipe My Cry
8:49 $0.99
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6. Boogaloo Sub
5:33 $0.99
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7. Chim Chim Cher-ee
7:10 $0.99
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8. Twins of Spirit
4:37 $0.99
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9. Stranger on the Shore
5:46 $0.99
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10. Steng Stang Stung
3:16 $0.99
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11. Sweetie Pie
9:55 $0.99
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12. Queen Anne's Revenge
4:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
\"All the guys in your group play great. Your drumming sounds like it should--it swings!\"

-Dave Brubeck (11/12/06)


Erin Stroup, saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

Featuring guest artists
Bob Mintzer, tenor saxophone
Liberty DeVitto, drums
Frank DiBussolo, guitar

Sean J. Kennedy and his Quartet (SJK4) have done it again! They have taken a mixture of the old and the new and through creative arrangements and just some down-right fine playing, have delivered yet another solid piece of work. Queen Anne\'s Revenge is a collection of excellent compositions, arrangements and collaborations by the Sean J. Kennedy Quartet with some very special guest musicians brought in to add texture and color to the collection. My first reaction to the opening cut \"Priceless” was this is not going to be just another SJK4 collection of works aimed at finding a place for them to make their sound. They were pushing it, right from the opening bar.

I loved Erin Stroup\'s composition and the soloing that he laid down was the hook that kept me on the line for the rest of the CD. Solid jazz playing and collaboration by the four members of SJK4 makes this CD a Jazz must have among the contemporary works that are available.

There are two songs treated especially well, \"Theme from the Munster\" and \"Cookin\' at the Continental\". Coming from opposite ends of the spectrum, it goes to show you the versatility of SJK4. The Munster theme was a treat, that old familiar groove, with a new twist, it is addictive! The Horace Silver standard, on the other hand, right from the vault of premium jazz music, gives the band a piece to stretch it out on and really wail, old school style and wail they do. It is fun to hear a band take two distinctly different genres and sew them up into one tidy package of great entertainment.

A pleasant surprise for me was a re-work of \"Boogaloo Sub\", this 12-bar blues piece is at the top of my Most Played list on my iPOD. The song is from SJK4’s debut album \"Road to Wailea”. I can’t get through a session of listening without revisiting the “Sub song”, and the new version is everything the old one was and more.

For a real treat check out \"Candy Sticks at the Palm Court\", a Kennedy composition that is just as relaxed as a jazz song can get. It paints a picture of a cool Sunday brunch at any sea-side luxury hotel, the mood of a warm sunny morning, and everything going right, for the band, and you!

The track \"Wipe My Cry\", is as personal as any composition I have ever heard, Kennedy takes you inside his angst of fatherhood, and shares the rollercoaster of emotions that accompanies that hardest of jobs. Music is a channel for the soul to deal with conflict, Kennedy and the band resolves that conflict beautifully in this piece.

Prepare yourself for track 8 it takes off at one-hundred miles an hour and never slows down!! This modal piece inspired by Coltrane\'s \"Impressions\", left an impression on me! Great sax work and the rhythm section is tight and pushes hard. Great solo turns by all involved.

\"Steng, Stang, Stung\" while reputedly written as a reminder of a fopaux Sean was guilty of, he is not guilty of screwing up this composition! This piece is what the SJK4 is all about to me. Solid, in the pocket execution of creative new pieces of jazz for everybody.

Another favorite of mine is Erin Stroup\'s composition \"Sweetie Pie\"; it is a New Orleans second-line groove that demonstrates the bands command of all the classical forms. This song swings and does not mind getting down there in the steamy heat of NOLA for some fun and games. If you can sit still for this one, have them pull the respirator out!

The title song \"Queen Anne\'s Revenge\" is the only song that I had to listen to more than once to get a taste for. The composition is complex, the number of guests and extra instruments tells me it is a studio song not to be heard by the quartet themselves. It is unique, and creative, and well, different. I commend Kennedy for exploring the topic, and he captures the chaos of the pirate\'s life well. A new dimension for Sean and the band, perhaps illuminating the future of the band. I look forward to their next effort.

Kennedy and the band take some new compositions, arrangements and interpretations of time honored standards and deliver a great new CD to keep the SJK4 band at the top of my playlist. I am a fan, plain and simple. I looked forward to their second work, and was not disappointed. Believe me, if you hear it, you will not be disappointed either. I can only imagine that their live shows as the quartet have evolved into some tight and kickin’ sessions. For those lucky enough to be in the Philly area to catch this band, good for you, for the rest of us, we will have to depend on CDBaby for our fix!

-Chuck Vecoli, Jazzreview.com


Liner notes from
\"Queen Anne\'s Revenge\"
Heather High Kennedy, Copy

1-Priceless
[Music by Erin Stroup; Lost World (BMI)]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

The lessons we learn from our teachers often last a lifetime. Written by Erin Stroup, this jazz waltz was composed in honor of the great saxophonist, Tim Price, who was one of Stroup’s early teachers. Though the title is obviously a play on words, using Price’s name, it’s also accurately dubbed, considering the value of the lessons he taught Stroup.

2-Theme to “The Munsters”
[Music by Mosher, Marshall; Songs of Universal
Arrangement by Seán J. Kennedy]
Erin Stroup, soprano saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

When I was a kid, on the rare occasions when I was permitted to stay home from school to nurse a fever or strep throat, there never failed to be an episode of The Munsters playing on one of the three UHF stations in the early afternoon. The feel-good surfer guitar in the theme song was the next best remedy to chicken soup to get me back on my feet and dancing. I was shocked, after we started playing this tune live, by the high number of people who exclaimed, “The Munsters? I love it!”


3-Candy Sticks at the Palm Court
[Music by Seán J. Kennedy; Lost World (BMI)]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
Bob Mintzer, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

It’s hard to imagine a place in America more simplistic than Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Characterized by miles of rolling hills, bespeckled with aging silos, and the horse-drawn tradition of the Amish culture, it’s definitely a place reminiscent of the mellow days of childhood. This summer we took a trip to Lancaster with our kids (Ashley, Juliet and Aidan) and their cousins (Maddie, Christian, and Seán), where this tune was inspired by the image of the 6-kid crew, happily munching on old fashioned candy sticks, without much more than the sweetness of the moment on their minds.

4-Cookin’ at the Continental
[Music by Silver; Ecaroh]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
Jim Verdeur, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone
Frank DiBussolo, guitar
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

Everybody loves cookin’ up a fast tune, especially when it’s served right. This Horace Silver standard – featuring “Chef” Frank DiBussolo on guitar – was selected for its fine use of pure jazz ingredients. It gives us a chance to wail, and we love that!

5-Wipe My Cry
[Music by Seán J. Kennedy; Lost World (BMI)]
Erin Stroup, soprano saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

This song came to fruition almost instantly the night my 2-year-old son was hospitalized with an asthma attack. It was early evening when my wife and I brought him to the emergency room, and I had a big gig I had to get to that night. I stayed with him for several hours while they did x-rays and hooked his frightened little face to the breathing treatment, but at the last possible moment when I turned with lead feet to leave, he anxiously stretched out his arms for me. As I hugged him, he rested his tear-stained face on my shoulder and said, “Daddy…wipe my cry.” Needless to say, the request weighed heavily on my mind the whole night and ever after, driving me to write this rock ballad which reminds us to never forget the important things in life - our families.

6-Boogaloo Sub
[Music by Seán J. Kennedy; Lost World (BMI)
Arrangement by John Stenger/Seán J. Kennedy]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
Bob Mintzer, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

The reprise edition. Who could have guessed that a simple, 12-bar blues would become so popular? Boogaloo Sub was featured on our first CD, Road to Wailea, when this whole experience was fairly new. It was well-received, and just as with people, age has added character and depth to what was once very little more than a simple ditty written about an odd character I met in a wedding band. It has evolved; thus, it seems fitting to include the new edition on this CD, now featuring Bob Mintzer and Stroup on sax.

7-Chim Chim Cheree
[Music by Sherman; Curtain Call
Arrangement by Seán J. Kennedy]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

Arranged in 4/4, this classic tune evokes memories of legendary funny-man, Dick Van Dyke, with squeaky clean humor, and sullied attire, dancing on the rooftops as Bert, the happy-go-lucky chimney sweep, in the unforgettable Disney film, Mary Poppins. Timeless themes emphasizing the priceless gifts of childhood, parenthood, and genuine happiness drive this feel-good melody to a fun place, “…’tween pavement and stars, the chimney sweep world.”

8-Twins of Spirit
[Music by Tim Price; Tim Price Jazz (ASCAP)]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
Bob Mintzer, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

This Tim Price original was inspired by the mystical allure of John Coltrane’s Impressions. The modal texture of this aggressive, fast paced tune allows Bob Mintzer to take us on an explosive melodic adventure, propelled by the rhythmic section’s hard driving swing.

9-Stranger on the Shore
[Music by Bilk; Screen Gems – EMI
Arrangement by Seán J. Kennedy]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

There is no great motivation behind the inclusion of this gorgeous classic on the CD, other than its beauty. I love this tune – I wish I wrote it!

10-Steng Stang Stung
[Music by Seán J. Kennedy; Lost World (BMI)]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

One night, after accidentally announcing to an audience that John is originally from Tennessee, when he is actually a native of Kentucky, I wrote this tune, loosely based on Stephen Foster’s, My Old Kentucky Home, to help me keep it straight.

11-Sweetie Pie
[Music by Erin Stroup; Lost World (BMI)]
Erin Stroup, tenor saxophone
John Stenger, piano
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums

Written for his infant daughter, Logan Elizabeth, Sweetie Pie is Stroup’s New Orleans second-line groove, inspired by his euphoric feelings about his little girl and the love he feels for his family. Titled after his nickname for the baby, Sweetie Pie shares all the spunky, happy charisma that has been so evident in little Logan’s personality from the start.

12-Queen Anne’s Revenge
[Music by Seán J. Kennedy; Lost World (BMI)]
Erin Stroup, soprano saxophone
John Stenger, piano, ganza
Raymond Clemens, bass
Seán J. Kennedy, drums (left channel), and marimba
Liberty DeVitto, drums (right channel)
Heather High Kennedy, congas, mazhar
Anthony Viscounte, gong, frasco da capsula, large frog
Bryan Graber, windchimes, shekere

Throughout time, the righteous people of the world have worked tirelessly, earning any success through honest labor and dedication, yet have remained vulnerable to thieves and pirates – self-indulgent crooks, heartlessly unaffected by grave injustices committed against their innocent victims. Among the filthiest of pirates in history stands Blackbeard, a grotesque plunderer with an insatiable appetite for misbegotten treasure, who ravaged the Caribbean waters in the early-eighteenth century on his stolen ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

While this piece is not specifically about Blackbeard, and such parrot-toting swashbucklers of yore, it is the barbaric insensitivity of that lot, and the turbulent battles that ensued between good and evil, which inspired its foundation. The pirate theme is a metaphor, representing the camouflaged pirates we encounter on a daily basis, who slash and slice at our self-worth, belittling our successes, in an attempt to steal our good fortunes. They board our minds, striving to overpower us with their negative attitudes, as we thrash about in the sea of life, struggling to persevere.

The two drum sets and arsenal of percussion instruments are not representative of the battle between good and evil; rather, they signify the intensity of the waves in the tumultuous sea. Turkish scales and rock motifs are used in a jazz context to provide mystery. Just as Blackbeard’s origin remains unknown, often times, attacks on our personal value seem to come from nowhere. Though much of the tune is dark and heavy, it is also triumphant for those who persist and hold tight to their faith.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge was eventually swallowed by the sea, as relentless waves nailed her hull to her gritty grave…
--------
CREDITS:
Recorded and mixed by Dan McKinney
Recorded at Dan\'s House Studio | www.danshouse.com
August 14 -15, 2006, October 3, 2006 and November 15, 2006
Mixed at Dan\'s House Studio, January 2007
Assisted by David Horowitz, Seán J. Kennedy and Raymond Clemens
Mastered by Dan McKinney

Produced by Seán J. Kennedy | www.seanjkennedy.com
and “Chicago” Carl Snyder for Lost World Music | www.lostworldmusic.com carl@lostworldmusic.com (800) 230-9723

Heather High Kennedy, Copy | xylogal@hotmail.com
Jennifer Link, Photography | http://thephotolink.dotphoto.com
Graphic design by Lori Donovan | www.thefourthleaf.com

Bob Mintzer appears courtesy of MCG Jazz,
and plays Selmer Saxophones and Vandoren Reeds | www.bobmintzer.com

Liberty DeVitto plays Evan Drumheads, Mapex Drums, Pro-Mark Sticks, and Sabian Cymbals | www.libertydevitto.com

Frank DiBussolo plays Benedetto Guitars | www.frankdibussolo.com

The SJK4 would like to thank the following people for making this CD possible: Heather High Kennedy, Ashley, Juliet and Aidan Kennedy, Megan and Logan Stroup, Nate Benbow, Kevin Cotellese, Liberty DeVitto, Frank DiBussolo, Lori Donovan, Adam Freedman, Bryan Graber, Jaime High, Jim and Mary High, David Horowitz, John and Rosemary Kennedy, Mike Lederer, Jennifer Link, Dan McKinney, Bob Mintzer, Donald Nally, Katie, Brian, Maddie, Christian, and Seán Reilly, Tim Price, Carl Snyder, Jim Verdeur, Anthony Viscounte, Michael Vosbein, Steve Weiss Music, our students, families, friends and fans!


For the latest news about The Seán J. Kennedy Quartet please visit www.seanjkennedy.com

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