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The Ways In

James Zollar

Label: JZAZ Records
Released: 2022
Views: 2,375

Tracks

1, The Fruit - Dedicated to Barry Harris (Composed by Bud Powell, Arranged by James Zollar, Michael Rorby) 2, Peace / Blue Silver - Dedicated to Al Zollar (Composed by Horace Silver /Composed by Blue Mitchell, Arranged by Slide Hampton) 3, Reflectory (Composed by Pepper Adams) 4, The Single Pedal of A Rose - Dedicated to Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ, Joe Temperley (Composed by Duke Ellington, Arranged by Michael Rorby, James Zollar) 5, Jim Jim (Composed by James Zollar, Arranged by James Zollar, Michael Rorby) 6, Do Nothing till You Hear From Me - Dedicated to Cootie Williams, Barrie Lee Hall (Composed by Duke Ellington) 7, Swing Spring (Composed by Miles Davis, Arranged by James Zollar) 8, Pat - Dedicated to Pat Zollar (Composed by Nabuko Kiryu, Arranged by Michael Rorby) 9, Down Town Up (Composed by Michael Rorby) 10, Checkered Hat - Epilogue Dedicated to Mercer Ellington (Composed by Norris Turney)

Personnel

Album Description

The New York City jazz world is an ecosystem involving musicians, venues, programs, enthusiasts, and much more. There are multiple “ways in” to this scene, but for a jazz artist new to the city, it is very intimidating. Nevertheless, there are many available paths, and sometimes all that an aspiring musician needs is a “wayfinder”. Over the past few decades, James Zollar has been a wayfinder to many jazz artists looking to break into the New York City scene. When I meet jazz artists in New York City, and let them know I am James’ older brother, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them share glowing stories about James’ generous efforts to help them find their way into the New York City jazz ecosystem. Those who know James, know that he offers his time and assistance with care, patience and humility. Like all of his siblings, we were raised to provide a helping hand wherever we can. Throughout his 40+ years in the business, James has traveled around the world, including his time with the Ellington band, and he has performed with many industry icons, including Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cecil McBee, Mongo Santamaria, Hilton Ruiz, to name a few. Just mention his name in any of the jazz circles around New York, and you will likely hear stories that speak to his giving soul and strong musicianship. With the encouragement of his family, especially his beautiful wife, Nabuko Kiryu (an accomplished jazz singer, composer and arranger in her own right), who is also featured on this recording, James has stepped out front on this project titled, “The Ways In”. James gets to show the world the range of his artistry from Ellington’s ethereal “Single Petal of a Rose”, to the upbeat original “Down Town Up”. A very special recording, “Pat”, is a birthday present to my wife, Pat Zollar, and was written by Nabuko when she realized that the recording session for this project was scheduled on Pat’s birthday. James is fortunate to be joined by some incredible musicians from around the area who bring their soufulness and artistry to these varied compositions and arrangements. The title of the album is a tribute to James' selfless work in helping others realize their full potential as working jazz artists in New York City. As executive producer of this recording, I insisted on the title. At first James seemed reluctant…he might have seen the title as a bit presumptuous. I held my ground because of the reverence I’ve witnessed from others around his craft and his spirit. So, I hope you enjoy the music as much as we all enjoyed making it. And if you are new to this music, I hope it helps you to find one of “the ways in”. Al Zollar Executive Producer October 2022


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