Victor Bailey was born on March 27, 1960 in Philadelphia, New Jersey. He attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music after being disqualified from naval service due to asthma.
Bailey has been extremely active on the jazz scene recording seven albums as a leader. However, he has been more prolific as a sideman recording and touring with the likes of jazz legends and musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Miriam Makeba, Larry Coryell, Lenny White, Kenny Garrett, Roy Haynes, Kenny Kirkland, Sadao Watanabe, Hamiet Bluiet, Kevin Eubanks, Bobby Broom and Steps Ahead among numerous others.
Victor has also worked with Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Sting, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Tom Brown, Najee, Olu Dara and Patrice Rushen. He has a Victor Bailey Signature acoustic bass released by Fender, as well as the Victor Bailey Jazz Bass (Artist Series), available in 4, 5-string, fretted and fretless versions. Jazz bassist Victor Bailey, best known for his contributions to Weather Report during their final years from 1982 to 1986, continues to perform, record and tour.
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Roy Haynes was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 13, 1925, and was keenly interested in jazz ever since he can remember. Primarily self-taught, he began to work locally in 1942 with musicians like guitarist Tom Brown, bandleader Sabby Lewis, and Kansas City blues-shout alto saxophonist Pete Brown. In the summer of 1945 he got a call to join bandleader Luis Russell to play for the dancers at New York’s Savoy Ballroom. When not traveling with Russell, the young drummer spent much time on Manhattan’s 52nd Street and uptown in Minton’s, the incubator of bebop.
From 1947 to 1949 Haynes was Lester Young’s drummer, worked with Bud Powell and Miles Davis in ’49, became Charlie Parker’s drummer of choice from 1949 to 1953, toured the world with Sarah Vaughan from 1954 to 1959, did numerous extended gigs with Thelonious Monk in 1959-60. Through the Sixties he performed and recorded with Eric Dolphy, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, has collaborated with Chick Corea since 1968, and with Pat Metheny during the ’90s. He’s been an active bandleader from the late ’50s to the present, featuring on his recordings Phineas Newborn, Booker Ervin, Roland Kirk, George Adams, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Ralph Moore and Donald Harrison to name a few.
A perpetual top three drummer in the Downbeat Readers Poll Awards, he won the Best Drummer honors in 1996 (and many years since), and in that year received the prestigious French Chevalier des l’Ordres Artes et des Lettres and in 2002 his album “Birds Od A Feather” was nominated for a Grammy. Roy Haynes, percussionist, composer and bandleader nicknamed Snap Crackle, continues to compose, performer, record and tour.
Travis Shook was born on March 10, 1969 in Oroville, California and started learning to play the piano at age seven. His family moved to Olympia, Washington when he was ten, spending his adolescent years in the Pacific Northwest. For a period of time he played rock guitar but soon realized jazz improvisation was his passion. At eighteen he enrolled at William Patterson College and studied under Mabern. After graduating he returned to Washington and joined bassist Buddy Catlett’s band where he learned a lot about the history of jazz.
In 1991 he won the Jacksonville Festival’s Great American Piano Competition that led to a contract with Columbia Records/Sony Music. Two years later he moved to New York City and recorded his debut with a quartet that included tony Williams and Bunky Green. Though receiving critical acclaim both in the U.S. and France for this first effort, it was a short-lived relationship when Sony purged a large percentage of the Columbia jazz roster upon acquiring the label in 1993.
After spending some time in obscurity after being attacked by New York Times critic Peter Watrous who criticized one of his performances, he entered a dark period in his life: alcoholism. A year later he got picked up by Betty Carter and went on tour through Europe, but he sunk deeper and added drugs to his plate of demons. Unemployable, he dropped out of the public eye for a number of years. Travis met, moved in with and ultimately married jazz singer Veronica Nunn who helped him overcome his demons and since 1998 he has been sober.
In 1999 Shook and his wife started their own record label, Dead Horse Records, which has released four recordings to date. Over the years he has performed with Reggie Workman, Eddie Harris, Joe Lovano, toots Thielemans, Rufus Reid, Chuck Israels, Ernestine Anderson, Branford Marsalis, Benny Golson and Clifford Jordan as well as Sonny Simmons, Michael Franks, Gino Vanelli, Bob Hope and Chris Botti among others.
His influences were Ahmad Jamal, McCoy Tyner, Duke Ellington, Harold Mabern, Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans but also John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Elvin Jones.Pianist Travis Shook continues to perform and record while building the catalogue of Dead Horse Records.
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Ralph Towner was born on March 1, 1940 in Chehalis, Washington. Born into a musical family, his mother a piano teacher and his father a trumpet player, Towner learned to improvise on the piano at the age of three. He started trumpet lessons at the age of five, but did not take up guitar until attending the University of Oregon.
Ralph first played jazz in New York City in the late 1960s as a pianist and was strongly influenced by the renowned jazz pianist Bill Evans. He began improvising on classical and 12-string guitars in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and formed alliances with musicians who had worked with Evans, including flautist Jeremy Steig, Eddie Gomez, Marc Johnson, Gary Peacock ad Jack DeJohnette.
He began his career as a conservatory-trained classical pianist, who picked up guitar in his senior year in college, then joined world music pioneer Paul Winter’s Consort ensemble in the late 1960s. Leaving Winter along with band mates Paul McCandless, Glen Moore and Colin Walcott, they formed the group Oregon, mixing folk, Indian classical, avant-garde jazz and frr improvisation.
Around the same time, Towner began a longstanding relationship with ECM Records, releasing virtually all of his non-Oregon recordings since his 1972 debut as a leader Trios / Solos. As a sideman he has ventured int jazz fsion with Weather Report on the 1972 album I Sing The Body Electric.
Unlike most jazz guitarists, Ralph only uses 6-string nylon-string and 12-string steel-string guitars. He tends to avoid high-volume musical environments, preferring small groups of mostly acoustic instruments that emphasize dynamics and group interplay. He make significant use of overdubbing, allowing him to play piano or synthesizer and guitar on the same track. During the Eighties he used more synthesizer but has returned to the guitar in recent years.
Composer, arranger, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Ralph Towner, who plays 12 string guitar, classical guitar, piano, synthesizer, percussion and trumpet, has an impressive catalogue of some five-dozen recordings spread between his role as a leader, with Oregon, and as a sideman with Paul Winter and Weather Report among others. He continues to perform, record and tour.
Zoltan Sagi was born in Hungary on February 10, 1956. He attended the Guildhall School of Music studying clarinet with Robert Earle and later Frank Allen at Warwick University. Self-taught on saxophone, he draw much of his inspiration from Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Adderley and Stan Getz.
His early career was spent playing in dance bands and in New Orleans jazz genre playing in festivals stateside and overseas. This was followed by a period as an educator as Director of Music and a country music service manager. He spent two and a half years extensively touring the world with Chris Barber.
Zoltan has recorded numerous CD’s and other recordings as a freelance session musician and has also appeared with such musicians as Earl Warren, Benny Waters, Kenny Davern, Bob Humphrey Lyttleton, Marty Grosz, Digby Fairweather, Duncan Swift, , Janusz Carmello, Bill Coleman, Greg Abate, Alan Barnes, Paul Degville and John Barnes among many others.
Has worked extensively both in this country and abroad. His experience spans from New Orleans jazz to jazz fusion. Sagi has been a part of several groups including Harlem, Swing Syndicate and The Charleston Chasers. Clarinetist Zoltan Sagi also plays all saxophones and currently performs with the Sticky Wicket Big Band, the Big Chris Barber Band, the Stars of British Jazz and with his own quartets and trios.