HOME CALENDAR RECORDINGS PICTURE GALLERY SWINGIN' THE BLUES  
 
       
   
Swingin' the Blues Bio...
 
"Think of this as a photograph of the musical moment" said Jake Langley as he encouraged the musicians in the room to appreciate recording Swingin' the Blues live 'off the floor'.  Gathering a group of friends together in one room to read and record some jazz classics over the course of several afternoons has become the recording style of yesteryear.
There are some obvious disadvantages to recording music with all the players in one room as we did, but for me the temptation was  too great.  I wanted to achieve a comfortable 'feel' when approaching the arrangements that were provided by Tom Leighton and Doug Watson.
 
 
 


For the longest time I had wanted to record a 'traditional' jazz CD in the spirit of the premier small combos that were often nestled within' the big bands of the swing era such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Bennie Goodman.  In addition, I wanted to pay tribute to drummers such as Papa Jo Jones, Gene Krupa, Cozy Cole, Buddy Rich, Panama Francis, Baby Dodds, Shadow Wilson and many others.  These drummers were some of the earliest influences on my approach to playing the drums.  My father, Jack Anderson exposed me to the early jazz that came out of the New Orleans tradition and the swingin' role the drums played in the Big Band Era.  When big bands became somewhat obsolete, many of the legendary leaders continued to tour with smaller ensembles until a revitalization of big bands occurred with the bands of Basie, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, and Stan Kenton in the 70's and 80's.  For a drummer such as myself, there is nothing more inspiring than driving a big band yet unfortunately today, it is simply financially out of the question.
 
About the performers...

When I decided to record this CD, I knew that I wanted to involve not only great musicians, but players who understood and respected this genre of jazz music. 
 
Doug Watson is a longtime veteran sax man in Toronto and a celebrated presenter and producer of jazz music for Jazz FM 91.1 in Toronto.  We have been friends and colleagues since the age of 13 when we first met in high school.  Jack Zorawski  is originally from Poland;  we met playing traditional jazz over 15 years ago and have been friends on and off the stage ever since.  Jack contributed his wonderful bass playing, his original composition Soap Bubbles and his supreme graphic arts talents to this project.  Christopher Plock and Shawn Nykwist are both skilled reed players on the Toronto Jazz Scene.  Kevin Clark comes to Toronto via New Orleans and he brings with him a beautiful big sound and his own jazz flavours to this recording.  William Carn  is one of the most in-demand session trombonists in Toronto today.  In fact, I was tempted to place small samples of his solos that were not in the final selections simply because they were all unique in the jazz tradition.  In the tradition of the big bands, I decided that I wanted a 'voice' to sing on several of the tunes.  The first name that came to mind was that of Melissa Styianou.  Mel has a great respect for traditional jazz vocals and she is one of the leading vocalists in Canada today.  Jake Langley recorded, produced, and performed on the recording.  Jake can and does play any style of guitar with anyone in the world!  He had a terrific perspective on this style of recording and he was a voice of reason at the sessions.  From our first discussions about the CD over a late morning breakfast Jake was simply tremendous in his support of the project.
 
At the time of the recording, there was only one choice for the piano chair for this recording.  Bob George!  However, during the recording sessions Bob was not quite himself, yet played with his usual sense of humour and wit.  After surgery in December, 2002, Bob was still enthusiastic about our final session on December 20th.  That was Bob's last recording;  he passed away in January of 2003.  He was one of the last true renaissance men who loved music and the joy of performance with his friends.  We dearly missed Bob at the CD release on July 20th, 2004 at the Rex Hotel in Toronto, yet I was thrilled that I had a chance to record a wonderful CD with a terrific friend and musician.
 
Thanks to all for this 'photograph' .... stay tuned for the next CD.
 
Glenn Anderson

 
 
   
 

LISTEN TO SAMPLES

Avalon
Autumn in New York
Shorty George

   
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