Dre of L.A (vo), İmer Demirer (tp), Jef Giansily (p), Ozan Musluoğlu (b), Ferit Odman (d).
“Dre’nin (Andre Williams) memleketi Lawnside, New Jersey. 1840 Mason-Dixon Hattı’nın kuzeyinde yer alan bu kasaba, azat edilmiş ve firar etmiş kölelerin toplanarak kurduğu, siyahlara ait ilk bağımsız tüzel kimlikli öz-yönetim olma özelliğine sahip. Gerek performans sanatçısı olarak gerekse sunucu kimliğiyle Dre, caz tarihinde uzun ve önemli bir yeri olan Lawnside’ın mirasının sadık ve güçlü bir temsilcisi.
Dre’nin insanı hemen çarpan, çağdaşlarının büyük çoğunluğundan farklı, rengi benzersiz biçimde sıcak ve davetkâr bir sesi var. Her şarkı sözü yazarının istediği ve umut ettiği şeyi o başarıyor: şarkısıyla hikâye anlatıyor. Dinleyici onun sözleri aceleye getirmeyen kusursuz anlatımıyla rahatça arkasına yaslanarak şarkının hikâyesini duyumsayabiliyor.
Caz topluluğunun bir üyesi olarak yıllar içinde birçok dostluk kurmuş olan Dre’ye piyasaya çıkan yeni CD’sinde eşlik eden müzisyenler de onunla aynı duyguyu paylaşan, onun gibi önde gelen müzisyenler: McCoy Tyner grubunun yirmi yıllık üyesi saksofoncu Joe Ford, Elvin Jones’la birlikte grup üyesi olarak konserlerde ve kayıtlarda çalmış gitarist Marvin Home var.
Bugünün diğer caz vokalistlerini düşündüğümde, tutku, duygusal zekâ, ifade ve teknik beceri bakımından Dre of L.A kalitesinde pek fazla isim aklıma gelmiyor. Biliyorum ki bu CD’yi dinlerseniz siz de böyle düşüneceksiniz” diyor Jerry Gordon, Evidence Records yapımcısı.
Giriş: 60 TL
Decade after decade, great new musicians and bands emerge and reveal themselves as contributors to the evolution of this great music we love so much called jazz.Year after year we find great saxophonists, trumpeters, bassists, pianists, drummers that catch our ears and reassure us that jazz continues to be vibrant. But when it comes to vocalists, how many survive the comparison–in our ears–to the singers we have loved in years past?
As a radio host, hundreds upon hundreds of vocal CDs come across my desk but few make it to the air. Most pale next to vocal heroes and heroines of years gone bye. Is it their lack of bandstand experience? The lack of opportunities for a jazz singer to appear before the public and connect to others with their message? Are these less passionate times? Or have we lost our future jazz vocal stars to hip-hop and other popular musical genres?
Rarest of all today is the outstanding male jazz voice. Where are the new members of this popular group that once included Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Jimmy Scott, Nat King Cole, Mark Murphy, and Billy Eckstein?
Well I found the most intimate voice this side of Arthur Prysock, and his name is Dre of LA.
Dre is from the borough of Lawnside, New Jersey, which became the first independent, self-governing black municipality north of the Mason-Dixon Line in 1840. Originally incorporated as a safe community for freed and escaped slaves, it currently has a population of 2700. As you can imagine, Lawnside has a long and prominent place in jazz history, and Dre has had a strong commitment to this legacy as both a performer and as a presenter.
Dre’s voice is immediately striking and different from most of his contemporaries. His timbre is uniquely warm and inviting, and can only be compared to the aforementioned Arthur Prysock. When he sings he is telling a story, as every good lyricist intends and hopes for. His phrasing is impeccable; he does not rush his delivery, and the listener comfortably sits back and feels the tale he emotes.
Through friendships he has built through his years as a member of the jazz community, Dre’s CD features outstanding and sympathetic musicians to accompany him on this inaugural release. His band consists of saxophonist Joe Ford, a member of McCoy Tyner’s group for two decades, as well as sideman for countless other stars; guitarist Marvin Horne, who performed and recorded with Elvin Jones as a member of his band; Philadelphia pianist Bernard Samuels has performed with most of the city’s jazz stars including Hank Mobley, Philly Joe Jones, Odean Pope, and Khan Jamal; Charles Beasley has been a been playing bass in Philly since the seventies with most of its great jazz players; and finally, ubiquitous Philadelphia drummer Byron Landham seems to be on every new CD I play, including Joey DeFrancesco, Orrin Evans and has recorded with Frank Wess, Bobby Hutchinson and countless others through the years.
I can’t think of many other contemporary jazz vocalists who sing with the passion, the emotional intelligence, phrasing, and CHOPS of Dre of LA. Listen to this CD and I know you’ll agree.
—Jerry Gordon, Serenade to a Cuckoo, WPRB FM, Princeton, and co-founder of Evidence Records