Grammy winner Skip Martin of Kool & the Gang and the Dazz Band releases his debut jazz CD Miles High today. ‘Are You Ready’ the debut single with Skip on trumpet and vocals, features Wayman Tisdale on bass guitar and 6-time Grammy winner Ricky Lawson on drums. The 13-track CD also features sax man Ronnie Laws, 5-time Grammy winner Al McKay of Earth Wind & Fire and Bruce Conti of Tower of Power. Miles High will be in stores on Tuesday, August 8, 2006.
The idea of Skip Martin’s debut jazz project was pure and simple – “it was just time”. With over 26 album releases as lead vocalist with the Dazz Band, Kool & the Gang and his own solo projects, Skip wanted to record a project where he did his ‘singing’ through his trumpet. “I’ve recorded with both groups in the horn section but never as a solo artist,” stated Skip. The result is Miles High filled with hip, cool, funky, smooth jazz grooves. “You’ll definitely come away ... with ... a sense of what Miles might be doing musically if he were still with us.” (Scott O’Brien for smoothjazz.com).
‘Are You Ready’ is “...a laid back blend of classic styles. If Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd were in the same band they would open their set with this tune...” (Gene Harris, Jr., MBA and Cat Lee for GrooveDoctorsRadio.com). Ronnie Laws appears on the ‘Smooth Sailing’ track in a beautiful trumpet and sax duet – ranging from sultry grooves to profound narratives.
‘Miles High’, the title cut, a tribute to Miles Davis written the night Miles died, clearly shows an insightful range of diverse influences from the modern jazz era known as the Miles Years. “... jazz that can appeal to the novice and seasoned listener...” (Enorman for soulpatrol.netradio).
Al McKay comes through on guitar with the track ‘Old School Rules’ and Bruce Conti also on guitar is featured on ‘Careless Whisper’. The album includes the first recordings of spoken word poet Bronze Paragon on the tracks ‘Are You Ready’ (Spoken Word) and ‘Apropos’ (Spoken Word) – which just make you sit up and listen. “I’m very excited about this project” admits Skip Martin. “It took 2 years in the making with a few starts and stops but the journey was well worth the time.”
The album is beautifully mastered by multiple Grammy winner Bernie Grundman.
MILES HIGH TRACKLIST
1. Do Da
2. Smooth Sailing (featuring Ronnie Laws)
4. Are You Ready (featuring Wayman Tisdale & Ricky Lawson)
5. I Give My Heart
6. Miles High
7. You Are My Starship
8. Are You Ready (Spoken Word)
9. Old School Rules (featuring Al McKay)
10. Moon Splash
11. Monster Bites
12. Apropos (Spoken Word)
13. Careless Whisper (featuring Bruce Conti & Ricky Lawson)