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Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm has teamed up with pianist/organist Bruce Katz for Project A, a tribute to Aretha Franklin and containing material with which she is associated. Although Frahm's foundation is jazz, there is a soul-filled side of him that enjoys working with the likes of Katz, renowned for his work with the Allman Brothers Band. The pair are joined by Chris Vitarello (guitar), Marty Ballou (acoustic bass), Jerry Jemmott (electric bass), Lorne Entress and Ralph Rosen (drums), with baritone saxophonist Jay Collins and trumpeter Kenny Rampton. The personnel changes from track-to-track but there are some where both drummers and bassists are included. Jemmott's background (playing for artists including Franklin, BB King,Ray Charles and Freddie King) makes him a perfect addition to this project.
At a CD release engagement at New York City's Jazz Standard in August, 2009, the band delivered an energetic performance of mostly album material. "The House That Jack Built" is rollicking, featuring both Frahm and Katz with powerful solos. A fine example of the latter's distinctive playing is found on Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With," his warm tone singing the lyric. Vitarello makes a notable impact on "It Ain't Fair" and "Rock Steady" but Katz is a force throughout, on either of his instruments. He can be bluesy, gritty and lyricalat times all in the same song. One of the outstanding performances (both on the CD and live) is "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," the rhythm evocative of the drumbeat played at New Orleans funerals. It is a joyous celebration of Cajun and gospel emphasized by both drummers' contributions.
Track Listing: The House That Jack Built; Love The One You're With; Don't Play That Song; Spirit In The Dark; It Ain't Fair; Maybe I'm A Fool; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Rock Steady; Packing Up, Ready To Go.
Personnel: Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone; Bruce Katz: piano.B3 organ, Wurlitzer; Chris Vitarello: guitar; Marty Ballou: acoustic bass; Jerry Jemmott: electric bass; Lorne Entress: drums; Ralph Rosen: drums; Jay Collins: baritone saxophone; Kenny Rampton: trumpet.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com