Hear Me is my debut album, available on February 12, 2015. Recorded in a small group format, it primarily features my original compositions. The ensemble includes Alif Muhammad on piano, Junius Paul on bass, Greg Artry on drums, and guest Victor Garcia on trumpet on a couple of tracks.
Hear Me is an introduction to me and the development of my creative process. It features some tunes I originally wrote as far as back high school -- a collection inspired by my growth as a musician and as a person. The personnel includes a handful of artists I've met and played with at varying points along the journey; each of them great musicians who I feel blessed to have brought together to interpret and add themselves to my works.
Ivanna-Banana comes from a rhyme to help people pronounce my high school sweetheart’s name: “It rhymes with banana, her name is Ivanna”; it’s a good thing I married her or it might be weird to release this song now. In the Storm and After the Storm are for those storms we all experience in our lives and the peace that comes after they pass. Almost Let Go is about resisting persuasion to depart from one’s own ideals. Timeless Times is for those moments in our lives that seem to live on in our memories as if they happened just yesterday. Dreams from the Block captures that youthful energy and hope we students had when I was in Gallery 37. Hours Alone is a tune inspired by a shared experience of loved ones being apart from one another. Solely What You Need is an homage to the music of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, which I spent considerable time playing and studying in college. Hear Me is an ode to anyone who feels like their voice is unheard. My Favorite Things is my arrangement of the Rogers and Hammerstein standard giving a nod to Coltrane’s version but hopefully bringing something unique to it.
*Digital downloads and physical CDs available at CD Baby.