J.C. HOPKINS BIGGISH BAND “NEW YORK MOMENT”
LABEL: TWEE-JAZZ RECORDS 001
PRODUCED BY: J.C. HOPKINS
Artist Website: www.jchopkins.com
Release Date: APRIL 5, 2020
UPC Code: 888295981491
2- One Of Those Days (Hopkins/Federer)
3- The Wonderful Things To Come (Hopkins/Federer)
4- We Can Change The World (Hopkins/Sarbanes)
5- Oh, Kitty!
6- Better Git It In Your Soul (Mingus)
7- Sublime Beauty
8- What Would You Say?
10- Close Your Eyes
11- The Children Will Lead Us
all tracks by J.C. Hopkins unless noted
Joy Hanson, Nico Sarbanes, Vanisha Gould, Shawn Whitehorn and Alicyn Yaffee – Vocals J.C .Hopkins – piano, Nico Sarbanes – trumpet solos, Drew Vandewinckle – arranger and tenor sax, Jason Marshall – Baritone sax, Julian Pressley – alto sax, Beserat Taffesse – trombone, Walter Cano – trumpet, Evan Hyde – drums, Kaisa Maenshivu – upright bass
A difficult group to classify, the J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band (a small big band or a large jazz combo) is a forward-looking swing ensemble that has been a regular feature at the historic Minton’s Playhouse every Saturday night for several years. The title of New York Moment, J.C. Hopkins’ latest project, is described by the composer in this way: “People say that a New York minute is really just a second, a split second, whereas a New York Moment transcends time. It’s when time stops. It’s when the trumpet player plays an otherworldly melody, or when the saxophonist wails like a wild duck creating a sense of tumult in an already tumultuous world, or when the singer sings just the right notes as the band lays down a lush chord. And it’s so beautiful that it resonates in your soul.”
His new recording, New York Moment, has J.C. Hopkins’ originals and the arrangements of tenor-saxophonist Drew Vandewinkle for the spirited group. Featured in key spots are five singers. Nico Sarbanes, who is also an excellent trumpeter, is in the spotlight on the uptempo “We Can Change The World” and “Lulu” (taking a particularly memorable trumpet solo on the latter), and sharing the vocals with Joy Hanson in winning style on the love song “Beguiled” and “What Would You Say.” Ms. Hanson is also heard on the quietly sensuous “The Wonderful Things To Come” and the ballad “Close Your Eyes.” Vanisha Gould adds to the New Orleans party atmosphere of “One Of Those Days” with her jubilant singing and puts plenty of honest emotion into “Sublime Beauty.” Shawn Whitehorn uplifts the medium-tempo love song “Oh, Kitty” while Alicyn Yaffee excels on the lowdown blues “The Children Will Lead Us.”
The Biggish Band also has its opportunities to be featured throughout the diverse material with an instrumental version of Charles Mingus’ “Better Git It In Your Soul” having some joyfully wild ensembles and passionate playing by altoist Julian Pressley. J.C. Hopkins moved from his hometown of San Francisco in 2000 to Brooklyn where he soon formed the JC Hopkins Biggish Band. His singer in the early days was the then-unknown Norah Jones. After her phenomenal success, she was succeeded by a long list of other great jazz vocalists including Madeleine Peyroux, Queen Esther, Jazzmeia Horn, Alicia Olatuja, and Brianna Thomas. Hopkins, whose song “Dreams Come True” was recorded as a duet by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, recorded his first album with his band, Underneath A Brooklyn Moon, in 2005. 2017’s Meet Me At Minton’s (which has guest spots for Jon Hendricks, Andy Bey and Jazzmeia Horn) celebrates the Biggish Band’s long-time Saturday night residency at Minton’s Playhouse, the historic club where early 1940s jam sessions featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and others helped form bebop. Hopkins is also Minton’s long-time music programmer.
New York Moment is the J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band’s finest recording to date and shows just how much the music is swinging at Minton’s Playhouse in the 21st century.
Available From: www.jchopkins.com •Amazon •CDBaby •iTunes
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