As the spice of life, variety plays a major role in David Schumacher's Summit debut. The baritone saxophonist enjoys a hearty organ combo ambience, along with tracks dedicated to Latin jazz, blues, straight-ahead jazz, and even a little hip-hop. His organ combos give the session a contemporary spirit that flows from tradition and remains timeless today.
Originally from Chicago and now based in New York, Schumacher began his professional career with in Lionel Hampton's big band. More mainstream jazz experience followed with Art Blakey's big band, Harry Connick, Jr.'s orchestra, T.S. Monk's ensemble, Tom Harrell's octet, Joe Lovano's nonet, and more. The Big Apple has opened doors for this baritone saxophonist with a big, burly sound and fiery technique.
Eight of his original compositions give the album a wide spectrum as he travels through a myriad of jazz subgenres with a personal zeal. Opening the umbrella far and wide, he's encompassed music from afar and gathered it all into one jazz bag.
Reciting his own poetry on three selections, Schumacher expresses the kinds of thoughts that we and his musical partners find prevalent on the contemporary jazz scene. "Don't judge," he says in a cool, gravel-filled voice with tenor saxophone accompaniment. "Observe." He speaks of "life left untasted" and calls for a "soulful insurrection" that will set us free. His music certainly bears that out as the baritone saxophonist grooves with deep feeling and romps with a comfortable rhythmic ease.
Arch's Nutty Variation features three stellar tenors; Jerry Weldon, Ned Goold, and Schumacher work together and stretch out individually. As the album's longest track, this one drives with a hearty straight-ahead approach that sizzles intensely.
Trombonist Robert Trowers serves as Schumacher's ally for the most part, along with organist Rob Bargad and drummer Jimmy Cobb. Together they bring this recommended session to a wider audience with welcome results. New York patrons can't continue to keep this guy to themselves. His wide-open approach smokes with an inner fire that spreads naturally. David Schumacher is contagious.
Track Listing: Too Tonal! Free! Dumb?; Henrys Mad Crazy Blues; 398; Homage to the Pharaoh; On Being
Judgmental; Seguitos Too Tonal Free!Drum!; 18th Hole; Its the Same Old Dream; Kickin a
Very Cold Foul; Archs Nutty Variation; I Think You Know ; Wheres it Goin?.
Personnel: David Schumacher: baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, spoken word; Rob
Bargad: organ; Neil Caine: bass; Jimmy Cobb: drums; Robert Trowers: trombone; Ned
Goold: tenor saxophone (5,10); Howard Johnson: baritone saxophone (6); Jerry Weldon:
tenor saxophone (10); Ruben Rodriguez: electric bass (6); Sam Seguito Turner: quinto,
iya, cajon, congas, percussion (6); Gabriel Machado: congas (6); Jason Walker: itotele, bell
(6); Pablo Moya: tres (6); Jay Klum: improvised hip-hop e-drums (1), organ (12).
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.