As a bassist residing and performing in NY, I get many wonderful opportunities to accompany a wide range of artists in an array of settings. That being said; it's always as a sideman! Band leaders call bass players for their good sound, time feel, and overall professionalism, not their compositions, solo chops or ideas on how their music should sound or come across artistically. (on a typical basis). When you're always being "told" or "guided" what to do in music it can be frustrating for an artist on any instrument or in any other Art.
The goal of J.S. Infinity is to attain a level of freedom that allows the band as whole to play without constraints, but still allowing the audience to interpret the song along with us. I believe a song can breathe/live in many different ways, and I excel to constantly explore those possibilities. I've also chosen musicians who also embody this same spirit on and off the band stand.
The Members of J.S. Infinity:
John Ellis (saxophones & bass clarinet)
Ever since moving to NYC I always wanted to play with John. He was one of the few musicians whom I’ve always FELT the music through his playing. Through his compositions and continued growth he constantly exudes the upmost musicianship.
Aaron Parks (piano)
I knew about Aaron long before I had and opportunity to play with him. I have always marveled at his sense of emotion, interpretation, and harmony. Parks is a gem of our generation.
Eric Harland: (drums)
Eric has been on the scene long before I knew what jazz was. But his beautiful approach to music allows the listener (and me also!) to participate in the journey ahead musically and spiritually.
JOE SANDERS BASS PROJECT
Joe Sanders’ Bass(ed) Imagination, commissioned by the Jazz Gallery/Jerome Foundation as part of the series, “Leading from the Bass.” The work involved a focused residency dedicated to composition for four basses. Inspiration arrived from many places, including deep listening to two of my favorite classical composers, Tchaikovsky and Mahler. Personnel for the March, 2012 performances of this work show the expansion of group as the composition evolved: Joe Sanders, bass; Shawn Conley, bass; Christopher Mees, bass; Ryan Berg, bass; Justin Brown, drums; Romain Collin, piano & Pat Carroll, alto sax.
“I have to give it up to these bass players, because they really stepped up to the challenge.... I know bass players. I know them really well. And I knew that these guys would be gung-ho about this, because it’s something really different, and something new, and [they would do] anything to advance the bass. These guys have been wonderful. And I’m in the same boat that they are, which is usually not the case. Because [no bandleader] really knows what you’re doing with the bass – [e.g.] the fingerings or bowings that you have to use – so we’re all in the same space. And I’m playing this music too, it’s hard for me, and I wrote it!”
GERALD CLAYTON TRIO
Gerald is like a brother to me, we were born one day apart in the same year, which gives another level to the relationship. We have experienced so much and grown up together in the past 15 years. Musically we have always been on the same page, playing with the same musicians and always figuring out new ways to grow even more.
After recording more than ten records together including four of his as a leader. I am always looking forward to our next adventure.
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BEN WENDEL GROUP
I first met Ben in Los Angeles while attending the Monk Institute. I will always remember the first gig he called me for; he gave me the hardest piece of music that I’ve read until that point, everybody else in the band had played the song before, so I knew I had to be ultra-prepared!
Ben is one the most incredible saxophonists and composers around, but also a very genuine soul. I am constantly learning on and off the bandstand from him.
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KENDRICK SCOTT ORACLE
The Oracle band is compromised of like-minded individuals who all posses the same thirst for beauty through music. Featuring Kendrick, John Ellis on Saxophones, Mike Moreno on Guitar and Taylor Eigsti on Piano. This ensemble has a “band first” mentality, oppose to “me-first”, which allows for interactions that could not have happened with any ego.
We have recorded two albums and can’t wait for the next!
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