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The Bright Side, The Joel Frahm Trio

For nearly 30 years, Joel Frahm has lived in New York City, working in jazz clubs, collaborating with other musicians, and honing his craft. His bold, inventive tenor sound has won fans in the U.S. and across the world. He has worked alongside Betty Carter, Kenny Barron, Freddy Cole, Dianne Schuur, Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit, Bill Charlap, Brad Mehldau, Matt Wilson, Cyrille Aimee, and many other top artists. He has played as a leader or sideman on more than 100 recordings and has appeared at jazz festivals in the United States, Europe, Israel, Canada and South America. In addition to his work as a performer, he has taught jazz classes in clinics at the University of North Carolina, the University of Connecticut, New York University, Wichita State University, the University of North Texas, Baylor University, Colorado State University, Furman University, the University of Toronto, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Manitoba and others. He also has worked at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation program; the Sant Andreu Youth Jazz Orchestra in Barcelona, Spain; the Dave Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California; the Center for Jazz Studies at the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv; the Czech Jazz Workshop in Prague; and the Siena Jazz Workshop in Italy. Joel grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and moved to West Hartford, Connecticut as a high school freshman, where he became part of the acclaimed Hall High School jazz band. It was there he developed a passion for jazz, exploring the music of jazz greats such as Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver and Wayne Shorter. In 1992, he received a bachelor's degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

The Joel Frahm Trio is a new band featuring Joel Frahm on tenor and soprano saxophones, Dan Loomis on bass, and Ernesto Cervini on drums. The Bright Side is their debut recording for Anzic Records, and is the culmination of a musical partnership that has developed over the course of many tours and recording sessions spanning the last decade.

The trio was born at a masterclass at the University of Toronto, as an offshoot of Cervini’s band Turboprop. In the ensuing years, Loomis and Cervini took the reins and began to book gigs for the ensemble, and on their first European tour a repertoire began to take shape, comprised almost entirely of recently penned original songs by each member of the band. The music runs the gamut: from X-Friends, Dan Loomis’ knotty re-imagining of the Klenner/Lewis standard Just Friends, to Frahm’s title tune The Bright Side, which was inspired by the opening riff of Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side. Cervini contributes The Beautiful Mystery, a pensive and emotional tone poem that contrasts beautifully with upbeat tracks like Frahm’s Beeline, a new melody written on the chord changes of My Shining Hour.

The Joel Frahm Trio is dedicated to playing original music with humour, emotion, blues spirit and all of the elements that people love about jazz. This  record is the first offering from a formidable band you’ll be hearing more from soon.

 

Episode #279

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