Thanksgiving is probably my favorite time of year; the weather is perfect, the food is amazing, it’s my baby brother’s birthday and most importantly I get to go home and spend time with my family. (It’s pretty much the dopest time of year!) Like from music, family has been a constant in my life and a very important aspect of my life. For various reasons, our family has had to move numerous times and relocating throughout my childhood was very difficult. It had a profound affect on me. So music and my family became the only things I could really count on. For this reason, every year, no matter how busy my brothers and I get, we always make an effort to all be together a few times a year. Also getting out of NYC, even for just a little bit, is the most refreshing thing ever lol
I’ve been listening to this solo for years now! The first time I heard it was probably freshman year at Juilliard. Carl Allen, who was running the Juilliard Jazz program at the time, was actually on this live recording (Berlin Jazz Festival 1985) which featured Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Ira Coleman, and Kenny Garrett. I remember I wanted to impress him and learn something he played on and since I love young Kenny Garrett (back in his bebop days) I figured I would learn this one. I’ve since rewritten and relearned this whole recording again including the Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw solos that come after!
Click here for solo.
I always really look forward to going home for the holidays not only to see my family but because my little brother Brody always puts me on to some NEW music!! I’m gonna be real, I’m not getting any younger and as a jazz saxophonist a lot of newer stuff isn’t on my radar. I look to my baby brother to keep me up to date on the new dances and new songs lol So this past Christmas my brother Brody was playing this song “Church” by BJ the Chicago in the car and was like man they play this on the radio all the time. I was like wow never heard this but I love it!! He was like “yea it was cool like 2 weeks ago Brax” So I,m sitting in the back seat feeling like damn I’m really out of the loop. But I knew once I heard the song that firstly, I could definitely sing this song and secondly the chords to this song are so soulful that it could easily be interpreted acoustically in a jazz context. So when I got back to NYC in January I wrote an arrangement of it and recorded this with my band!! This song has such a great vibe to it that we will probably incorporate it into our live show!