Contained here in this disc are the effervescent and swinging sounds of the Tim Gill Quintet, the small-group core of the Tim Gill All-Stars. Having spent many years fronting the All-Stars big band, pairing down to the intimate and nimble quintet format felt at first a little like walking on a tightrope; relying less on the pyrotechnic display of a large horn section and grandiose arrangements, and more on the personalities and crafted technique of the individual players. I can gladly say, though, that the journey has proven to be one of the most artistically fulfilling to date.
At its core is the same driving rhythm section that anchors the big band: Adam Bravo's seemingly endless harmonic palette, Nick Schaadt's solidly crafted attack, and the thundering, deep pocket of Jimmy Ford's drums. Riding gleefully on top of that is Danny House's bop-tinged clarinet and saxophone, with yours truly helming the ship crooning lyrics and blowing horn. Guesting on this album is Ben Devitt on Trombone, also of the All-Stars; he lends a particularly melodic solo to “Dream A Little Dream.” Also appearing is the propulsive rhythm guitar of the much-underrated Tom Grill.
On this outing, the focus is on our bedrock of Great American Songbook standards, well-known and less-known alike. I've always felt that with this material, the song itself should be the star of the performance. To that end the arrangements on this album are kept tight and succinct, and the solo spots are beautiful moments of enlightened brevity in lieu of rambling multi-chorus diatribes. Not that the musicians don't have space to shine; each man has multiple moments of genius here, both in the solo spotlight and as an accompanist, the whole group breathing and phrasing as a unit over a danceable, pulsing beat. In search of this particularly wholesome group vibe, we recorded the entire band as a unit in one room, no headphones or glass doors to get in the way of a truly live and in-the-moment experience.
The steamy, lush title track features a particularly well-woven dialogue (if I do say so myself) between Danny and myself during the second chorus, each taking the melody in phrases while the other accompanies. There are a few toe-tapping bouncers like “Jeepers, Creepers” and “Slipped Disc,” the latter showing off an impressive array of flying fingers over the swinging, sinuous melody. A few lesser recorded early jazz favorites like “Jazz Me Blues”, “My Daddy Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)”, and “Everybody Loves My Baby” rear their heads. It wouldn't be a Tim Gill date without a dose of humor, and a few wry wrinkles make their way into the repertoire with “The Coffee Song,” “Your Feets' Too Big,” and “Your Mind Is On Vacation.”
I hope you enjoy the music, and I hope the fun we had while recording it comes through with each repeat listening.
-Tim Gill, March 2020
released March 16, 2020
The Tim Gill Quintet:
Tim Gill, Vocals and Trumpet
Danny House, Clarinet
Adam Bravo, Piano
Nick Schaadt, String Bass
Jimmy Ford, Drums
Ben Devitt, Trombone
Tom Grill, Archtop Guitar
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Nic Chaffee at the Woodshed, Long Beach, CA.
Tim Gill is a dynamic, award-winning vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and tongue-in-cheek comedian who combines
timeless love songs, wry knee-slapping humor, and inventive original material; he wraps them in high-octane, hard-swinging arrangements to create a dynamic show that puts an exciting 21st century twist on the Great American Songbook....more