Chris Burnett - Saxophonist/Composer. The music presented on the debut Time Flies is very representative of instrumental jazz - the indigenous American art form that is a unique blend of western music and African rhythms which creates new and exciting harmonies and syncopation. From Jelly Roll Morton to Wynton Marsalis, jazz exists in many forms and Burnett's music is a refreshing addition to this legacy.
Jazz is a nebulous entity, constantly absorbing, digesting and reflecting our society and culture. Burnett's work and the performances provide listeners with an intimate engagement into the act of making the music. The featured and complimentary uses of Latin percussion instruments, along with standard drum set, amplifies that jazz has arguably become a world-wide music as well.
Burnett's music and style incorporates inspired original jazz improvisations, beautiful harmonic progressions, syncopation and superb compositional form which makes all selections tight, consistent units. His songs include most all elements found in swing, cool, West Coast, Latin, free and be-bop jazz styles.
Born to a military family at Olathe, Kansas, Christopher Burnett spent several formative years living abroad prior to the family settling down in the nearby rural city of Paola, Kansas. He was first introduced to the piano at an early age by his mother; joined the school band, directed by Mr. James R. Fuchs, during high school; and, studied privately with local professional musician, Mr. Charles Molina. During this fundamental period, Mr. Burnett practiced as much as 6 hours each day.
His professional musical activities began after he entered military service bands as a saxophone and clarinetist in the mid-1970s at the age of 19. During a prolific period of musical growth that would cover the next 22 years, he developed professional skills as a composer/arranger and has performed extensively throughout the US, Europe, and the Mediterranean area. Mr. Burnett has studied woodwinds at the college-level under: Dr. Frank Sidorfsky, Mr. Paul DeMarinis, and Mr. Jerry Greene. He studied composition and arranging with Mr. O'tress Tandy, through correspondence with the Berklee College of Music, while living overseas, and at the Armed Forces School of Music.
Through those various inherent ensembles within the military band program, Chris has also had the opportunity to perform music of most all styles, with numerous nationally and internationally known artists, in addition to having a soloist feature with The Hof Symphony Orchestra (Germany) at the age of 22 . Subsequently, his compositions and arrangements have also been performed by numerous groups and even on Italian RAI television. In 1995, one of his compositons, an arrangement for large jazz ensemble titled "Daedalus", won the 'Five Star Award of Merit' from the National Federation of Music Clubs.
The music from Time Flies can be listened to online for free at http://www.mp3.com/4jazz - it's worth a spin.
Track Listing: 1. "Time Flies" 2. "Whenever We Cry" 3. "Bagnoli Blues" 4. "Another Tribe" 5. "Circles" 6. "Waltz For Mom" 7. "To Each His Own"
Personnel: Chris Burnett - saxophones, composer, arranger; Jeff Stewart - piano; Elliot Kuykendall - acoustic and electric basses; Kenny Baldwin - drum set; Bob Habib - Latin percussion; and Ben Lewis - piano on "To Each His Own".
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.