Originally a classical trumpeter who also taught high school music classes, Fred Forney switched his career entirely when he discovered jazz. He traded his symphony work for leading a combo while continuing to teach. Based in Phoenix, Ariz., he is the director of jazz studies at Mesa Community College. He also works as both a lead trumpeter and a jazz soloist.
In the liner notes of "Chasing Horizons," Forney reveals that one recording that made a very big impression on him early on was Freddie Hubbard's "First Light." Hubbard is an influence on Forney's sound, particularly on the more uptempo pieces, although he has his own conception on moody ballads. Forney's writing is quite original while being in the jazz tradition.
Matched with the passionate tenor saxophonist Brice Winston, pianist Chuck Marhonic, bassist Dwight Kilian, and drummer Dom Moio, Forney performs seven of his originals. He alternates swingers such as "Nearly Human" and "The Simplest Things" with more brooding works including "The Mystic" and "Meditation No. 1." The result is a forward-looking hard-bop set that swings while being open to unexpected directions. The other musicians have their spots to star but "Chasing Horizons" is very much Fred Forney's project, showcasing his playing and writing talents at their best.