BERRIES AND BLUES
With a brilliant balance between passion and precision, Ray Blue swoops and soars through a melody then launches into a spirited solo, engaging a soulful communication that leaps odd the bandstand and speaks deeply to the audience. Whether waxing poetic or laying down a hard grove.
The Ray Blue sound is at once big and warm, dynamic and romantic, nostalgic and modern.
It's "Blue Jazz".
Berries are remarkable fruit: strawberries, blueberries and cherries are sweet, healthy and full of things that are good for us. They are good for the body, mind and spirit. I enjoy them for breakfast, it is the way I like to start my day. Jazz is rooted in in the Blues which is the righteous place to begin a musical story. On this CD, I serve you with Berries and Blues, fruits of my music. It is a story told by merging jazz, blues and African folk rhythms. This is my way of saying: good morning, good day and be well. The players chosen for this project are brilliant musicians and great cats. We came together a few months earlier on a gig in Paris. The chemistry was there and the sound was special, which made this band to the play on this CD. The tracks were recorded at Bop City Studio in Paris, France and Ham It Up Studio in Pomona, New York. The sessions were fresh and some of the music was developed in the studio because it was spontaneous and in the moment.
Pianist TOM MCGLUNG grasps the material and quickly begins to create numerous opportunities for improvisation. He is an intuitive musician who has a remarkable sense of rhythm, harmony and melody. I enjoy every moment we spend in the studio and on the bandstand. Tom is also known for his work with Archie Shep and Marion Brown.
DOUGLAS SIDES, a master drummer/percussionist, he shifts between styles fluently, maintains tempos, grooves and instinctively provides the right interchanges. An intense and tasteful performer, Doug is one of the most focused individuals anywhere. His contributions to this project are immeasurable.
RASUL SIDDIK is a soulful trumpet player and he brought a wealth of experience to the session. On this project his role was that of a section brass voice supporting the tenor and soprano saxophones. In addition to his playing, Rasul's ears and studio knowledge were a welcomed blessing in the control room.
Bassist ERIC JACOT, from Paris, holds it down and keeps the music grounded. As expected, he drives the band forward, frames the chorus changes and locks tightly with the drummer. He hears all of the music. His ability to solidify the foundation of the music and play melodically really moves me.
Guitarist JOHN BASILE is one of my favorite players and collaborators. For this project, John was called in to add a supportive guitar voice. He filled this role nicely and with taste the pro that he is.
Drummer, Engineer and Producer JOE HAM added his expertise and skills. Together with co-producer ART HIGHTOWER, he did remarkable things in the sessions at Ham It Up Studio.
RAY'S PERSONAL COMMENT
Thank you for choosing my music, enjoy "Berries and Blues".
1.LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING talks about Freedom, Respect and Trust that the rising sun of the new day will be better than the one passed. May we forever stand true to our God, our native land and our culture.
2. BABY JUST TELL ME is about communicating. Talk to one another, share your thoughts and feelings. Communication is a key to happiness. Even hard times become easier.
3. BERRIES FOR BREAKFAST is good for many things and it's what I like. Stay healthy, take care of yourself and your loved ones.
4. THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE is a beautiful ballad. The is no greater love than what I feel for you.
5.STELLA BY STARLIGHT is about love - soft and sensitive. It is simply a love song.
6. WORK represents an important part of life, working and having self-respect. This is the sound of loving what you do.
7. STROLLIN' is a great way to see a new city. Go walking together, hold hands and have fun. I'd great, I tell you.
8. HERE WE GO - move on, make your dreams come true, be happy, treat yourself and others with kindness.
9. UBUNTU represents African world. Ubuntu is the manifestation of humanity, caring and compassion. what affects me, affects you and what affects you, affects me.
10. AMAZING GRACE - how sweet the sound... This grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home. Let this tune speak to you.
Ray Blue – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Tom McClung– Piano
Eric Jacot – Bass
Douglas Sides - Drums
Rasul Siddik - Trumpet
John Basile – Guitar
M 7166 970333
Release Date: June 26, 2010
Label: Funky Records, Berlin Germany
Thomas Jost, Funkturm Verlag, Berlin Germany
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Bop City Studio - Paris, France, Engineer: Max Jesion
Recorded at Ham It Up Studio - Pomona, New York, Engineer: Joe Ham
Producer: Ray Blue
Co-Producer: Arthur Hightower
Cover and Graphics: Sylvie Rochart
Photography: Richard Ryles, Rodney Dash
Studio Photography: James Brooks
Special Thanks to: Riitta Blue, Günter and Karin Baasner, Thomas Jost, and Arthur Hightower.