This 4th album as a leader by saxophonist Steve Heckman, follows on the heels of his highly-acclaimed 3rd album, Born to be Blue (his debut on the Jazzed Media label). On this much-anticipated new release, Steve is joined by the same stellar cast, featuring New York guitarist Howard Alden, with some of the San Francisco Bay Area's best musicians, including Matt Clark on Hammond B3 organ, multi-award winner Marcus Shelby on bass, and internationally acclaimed drummer Akira Tana.
Steve Heckman: Tenor and Baritone Saxophones Howard Alden: Guitar Matt Clark: Hammond B-3 Organ Marcus Shelby: Bass Akira Tana: Drums
This album features many of the wonderful (though generally less often performed) compositions of many of the great players in the jazz world, including compositions by John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk, Grant Green, Sonny Clark, Blue Mitchell, and Randy Weston; with a well-known Vernon Duke standard, Autumn in New York, thrown in for good measure, as well as one of Steve's originals, "Hangin' at Slugs", dedicated to a well-known jazz establishment in New York at the time Steve was coming up.
Although this set was recorded with the same group of incredibly talented musicians as on Steve's last album Born to Be Blue, (which peaked at #19 and remained on the Jazz Week Charts for 12 weeks) while retaining the same lyricism, it focuses more on straight-ahead driving jazz (with a little grease thrown in by the B-3 timbre).
This set was recorded at the esteemed and renowned Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California.