The variety is broad and the band itself can blow up a storm!
Famed bassist Rodney Whitaker brings together an all-star unit of generational contemporaries, each a modern master and colleague of long standing, to interpret a sampling of tunes from composer Gregg Hill's pen, compositions that Whitaker found particularly inspiring. With trumpeter Terrell Stafford, saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Bruce Barth, and drummer Dana Hall, Whitaker guides the flow with a mammoth sound and harmonic acumen, as his partners apply their individualistic voices to eight tunes that Whitaker describes as "modern bebop and 21st century soul jazz," emphasizing melodic development and the will to swing. For 4 of his pieces, Hill partnered with vocalist Rockelle Fortin, Whitaker's daughter, to write lyrics and add her voice to the ensemble.
1. Technocats 7:15
2. Common Ground 5:49
3. Tribute 8:19
4. The Ringer 6:50
5. Phoenix 4:35
6. A Cool Breeze Runs Through E. Lansing 4:30
7. Aftershock 11:13
8. Remembrance 6:33
Music composed by Gregg Hill
Arranged by Rodney Whitaker
Lyrics by Rockelle Fortin (2,3,5,6)
Terell Stafford - trumpet and flugelhorn
Tim Warfield - alto, tenor, soprano saxophones
Bruce Barth - piano
Rodney Whitaker - bass
Dana Hall - drums
Rockelle Fortin - vocals (2,3,5,6)
Produced by Gregg Hill & Rodney Whitaker
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Eric Wojahn
at Solid Sound Recording Co., Ann Arbor, MI
November 25th, 2017
Photography by Lynne Brown
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
An acknowledged bass ace with a well stamped passport meets a home town cat that had the will but didn't have the way and finds the sweet spot where his world wise chops can bring the composer's modern soul jazz to the world. With an all star crew in tow, this new jazz voice is finally getting his chance to be heard in grand style. Certainly a mo ...
WTJU (Dave Rogers)
"Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker, currently holds the titles of Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States of America." (http://rodneywhitaker.com/biography/) ...
Beachcomber / Pause & Play Record Roundup (Bruce Collier)
Jazz bassist, educator and leader Rodney Whitaker has worked with guys like Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Diana Krall and a long list of other stars. On Common Ground he has put together an eight-song program of tunes by composer and pianist Gregg Hill, a favorite of his. Among Whitaker's collaborators here are hard bop trumpet kingpin Terrell Staf ...
JazzDeLaPena (Tomas Peña )
Bass player Rodney Whitaker moves in the highest circles of the jazz world. But when he meets a self-taught artist, his ears perk up. "They'll say ‘you don't want to listen to me, I'm not trained.'" Whitaker says. "But I do. People who have figured things out themselves really know something." So when Whitaker met Gregg Hill, a self-taught jazz c ...
Jazz Chill (Editor)
Common Ground is the first of five CDs that bass maestro Rodney Whitaker intends to release in 2019 in acknowledgment of his fiftieth birthday year. It's his seventh album, and embodies the musical values that Whitaker has projected on antecedent dates like When We Find Ourselves Alone, from 2014; such turn-of-the-century gems as Winter Moon, Ball ...