I'll Never Be The Same CD
The title track, I’ll Never Be The Same, speaks to the inspiration behind the making of my debut album. For the past four years, I’ve had the great pleasure to be under the mentorship of two of my favorite musicians, Rodney Whitaker and Randy Napoleon. The knowledge and insight I received from them on what it means to swing, how to present a melody and the importance of carrying the torch for this great American art form will stay with me for the rest of my life. The making of this album is a celebration of the friendship and bonds I built with them.
The drumless trio is a sound that has always captivated me since hearing Stan Getz Meets The Oscar Peterson Trio at a young age. That album was a gateway for me to hear all the great tenor players of the 20th Century, such as Ben Webster, Johnny Griffin, and Zoot Sims, who are a few of my favorites. I have always tried to emulate their ability to sing through the horn with confidence and a sense of subtlety and beauty. On the record, I pay tribute to these inspirations by attempting to do what they did best, presenting my favorite melodies with my own voice. I couldn’t have been luckier to have Rodney and Randy’s rhythmic and harmonic support for my drumless trio. I hope the comfort with which we play together is evident.
The repertoire I selected for the album is a collection of my favorite songs and music that has significantly influenced me in some way. I have always been drawn to The Great American Songbook, and becoming a leading interpreter of these songs is a lifetime goal of mine. With this record, I have begun the documentation of this process. It was also essential to record individual duo tracks. For Rodney, I chose “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” to pay tribute to his vast knowledge of Duke Ellington’s legacy, which Rodney passed on to me. “Over the Rainbow” was a perfect choice for Randy, who spent countless hours teaching me the power of presenting melodies with clarity and sophistication. My original piece, “Where Leaves Change” is my take on the melodic nuances, simplicity, and refinement of the Great American Songbook classics.