Hello everyone! I’m just checking in with some of our latest studio work! We’re proud to announce that in 2016, we released two albums, “Jobimesque” and “Jazzmas”. You can click the album captions for complete playlists on YouTube.
“Randy Kemp, an excellent keyboardist and tenor-saxophonist based on the East Coast, has put together his first album of Christmas jazz. Unlike most other Xmas collections, Jazzmas covers a variety of jazz styles from straight-ahead to soul jazz, from smooth to Latin…To name a few highlights, “We Three Kings” has an interpretation that fans of the John Coltrane Quartet will enjoy. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is turned into funky soul jazz a la Jimmy Smith with some nice spots for organ and flute. “What Child Is This” becomes a jazz waltz with a Dave Brubeck feel while “Carol Of The Bells” has the tenor and alto taking adventurous solos with the saxophonists sounding a bit playful in the ensembles. “Oh Holy Night” is transformed into contemporary jazz, “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” is taken as a swinger with prominent Latin percussion and “Dance Of The Sugar Plumb” has a groove that recalls Ray Charles “Hit The Road, Jack.”
All in all, Jazzmas is a fun set that lovers of Christmas jazz will definitely enjoy.”
Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist and Historian
“… For this …project, he [Randy Kemp} pays tribute to the bossa nova style of Antonio Carlos Jobim and the classic Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd album Jazz Samba not by reviving its repertoire, but by creating new music in the style.
Kemp, who is featured on piano, electric piano, organ and tenor-sax, heads a group also including bassist Doc Stephens, drummer Dave Hermantin and percussionist Nick Rodriguez. Guitarist Greg Packham makes welcome appearances during three of the ten originals.
While there is a consistent unity to the music, the instrumentation varies a bit throughout the date as do the moods and the grooves. Jobimesque begins with a medium-tempo blues “Sabado” which has a catchy melody. “Jobimesque,” with its emphasis on tenor and guitar, keeps the Getz/Byrd sound in mind. “Charlie’s Dream” has a nice bossa groove and is a relaxed and mellow piece. Kemp takes a rewarding piano solo on “Norma’s Song” and his organ is an important part of the Latinish blues “Rain.” “Brian’s Bossa” features a lyrical and haunting theme, some fine drum breaks from Hermantin and rewarding solos from guitarist Packham and Kemp. “Arranque la Guitarra” uses a phrase from Jobim’s “Desafinado” as the basis for its new theme. “Brisa Fresca” spotlights a tenor-bass-percussion trio while “You Were My Song” has Kemp’s lone vocal of the program. Jobimesque concludes with the quirky and infectious “Passeio.”
Jobimesque succeeds at being both a tribute to the masterful Jobim and a fine introduction to the playing and writing of Randy Kemp.”~Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist and Historian
Needless to say, the band and I were very happy with these reviews. Our Christmas album had some success in sales, and we’re looking forward to selling it again this year as the project didn’t quite stay in the timeline we needed it to.
Here are some photos from our gigs…
Here are some live videos as well as studio work we’ve done this past year…
Of course we also have our patrons, students, and studio clients to thank for having such a wonderful year!