Dave Potter and Retro Groove
"Why don't ya'll play some songs we actually know?" This is a question, in some form or another, that has been asked to my peers and I countless times when referring to the repertoire often performed by Jazz ensembles. It is one that I had pondered over the years but never invested a great amount of time into. That is until I started to see some
"Why don't ya'll play some songs we actually know?" This is a question, in some form or another, that has been asked to my peers and I countless times when referring to the repertoire often performed by Jazz ensembles. It is one that I had pondered over the years but never invested a great amount of time into. That is until I started to see some very significant shifts in the way that Jazz music was both presented and perceived. In an effort to change the now-popular narrative that Jazz sounds "old and tired", I wanted to see if it would be possible to merely play different songs instead of changing our entire performance conception. I have often felt that the last great decade of popular music was the 1980's which also happened to be the time period in which I first heard music of any kind. There have been many previous attempts to play "Pop" tunes in a Jazz band but I feel like there were several factors that hindered these attempts from providing the desired audience reaction. The most frequently used method is to take a popular tune such as Marvin Gaye's classic, "What's Going On?", and basically play an instrumental version of the song with solos that follows the basic arrangement from the original recording or in other words, contains very few actual elements of Jazz. The less frequently used but, in my opinion, equally ineffective method is to take a song such as the Beatles's "Let it Be", and change the harmony, rhythm, and overall vibe of the song to that point that it becomes virtually unrecognizable to average fans of the piece in which case the band might as well be playing an original tune. There is nothing wrong with either of these interpretations, however, my goal with this project was to see if I could truly strike a balance between keeping the pure essence of the composition while at the same time being able to play conceptually the way that our group would perform a more traditional Jazz song. The process of selecting and arranging the music contained herein took about 2 years. The most difficult part was actually finding repertoire that accommodates a Jazz conception. In other words, I had to find songs that had enough built-in arrangement, room for extended improvisation, influence of blues/folk/gospel music, melody, and thematic and/or harmonic material in the composition. Additionally, they needed to be rhythmically malleable enough to accommodate the Swing groove and its derivatives, which are the primary factors that make Jazz a truly unique genre of music. For example, Cameo's "Candy" is a great pop tune which might contain the greatest pop solo ever, but does not really work in a Jazz format due to its structure. Inversely, Thelonious Monks's "Brilliant Corners" would probably not sound great if Whitney Houston had done an arrangement of it. In the end, I think we were able to find that delicate balance I was looking for and I hope that you, the listener, feel the same.
Band: Dave Potter - drums
Miguel Alvarado - soprano and tenor saxophones
Will Goble - acoustic bass (2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
Terrell Montgomery - acoustic bass (1,3,5,9)
Austin Johnson - piano (2, 4, 6, 7, 8)
Angelo Versace - piano (1,3,5,9)
Engineering & Mixing: Nicholas "Ace" Lutz
Through the Fire... Potter, Alvarado By David Foster, Tom Keane and Cynthia Weil Copyright Peermusic III Ltd, Dyad Music Ltd., Bike Music o/b/o Tomjon Music , and Bike Music o/b/o Bravo, and Encore Music
Higher Love... Potter, Alvarado By Stevie Winwood and Will Jennings Copyright Irving Music, Inc. o/b/o Blue Sky Rider Songs and Kobalt Music Pub America I o/b/o F S Music Ltd
What a Fool Believes... Potter By Kenneth Loggins and Michael McDonald Copyright Clearbox Advantage o/b/o Milk Money Music and Kobalt Songs Music Publishing o/b/o Snug Music
You Got it All... Potter, Alvarado By Rupert Holmes Copyright Universal - Polygram International Pub Inc.
Cult of Personality... Potter By Corey Glover, Vernon Reid, Doug Wimbish, and Will Calhoun Copyright Songs of Smp
Kiss... Potter By Rupert Holmes Copyright Universal - Polygram International Pub Inc.
The Flying Sequence... Potter, Johnson By John Williams Copyright Warner-Barham Music LLC
In Your Eyes... Potter By Peter Gabriel Copyright EMI Blackwood Music Inc. o/b/o Real World Music Ltd
I Can't Help It... Potter, Heriveaux By Stevland Morris and Susaye Greene Copyright Doll Face Music, Black Bull Music Inc., Stone Diamond Music Corp., and Jobete Music Co. Inc.
Recorded at County Q Studios, Nashville, TN on 10/5/19, 10/6/19, 10/17/21
To obtain more wood sound from the bass, this album recorded without the usage of the dreaded bass direct
Dave Plays Mapex Drums, Sabian Cymbals, and Vic Firth Sticks & Brushes Miguel Plays Forestone Reeds
Artwork by Stacey Kruk
Thanks and Love to: God, My old (young) lady Yohayra, “La niña” Dasielle, Momma D, Big John, Dr. Andrew “The Sensai” Sioberg, Susan Eisenson, Calvin Freeman, Leon Anderson, Rodney Jordan, Marcus Roberts, Jason Marsalis, Steve Hobbs, Gary Lefrancois for the chops, all the friends & family that have loved and supported me throughout the years, Rick and Bob at Mapex, Joe at Vic Firth, Shirlene & Chris at Sabian, Darby at Summit, Chris D at Two for the road, Stacey K graphics Will, Austin, Miguel, Jason Hainsworth, Angelo Versace, Brice Winston, Greg Tardy, Bill Peterson, Terrell Montgomery, Louis Heriveaux, Tommy Sauter, Patrick Atwater, Mason Margut, Marco Maritz, Charlette Clarke, the Masters of the Jazz universe, You the listener and supporter, and everyone else that is part of the Retro Groove Gang!