Shuffling Ivories

Roberto Magris

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“This project is a fantastic voyage from, Eubie Blake to Andrew Hill, spanning over 100 years of jazz history and over 1 hour of amazing music”, says Kansas City jazz impresario Paul Collins. “Although this project reflects music from several jazz greats, it is primarily my tribute to Eubie Blake. He was a musical pioneer, with an original style at that time, that brought many diverse musical influences together in his music such as: operetta, ballads, vaudeville, comic routines, musicals, and traces of classical music and jazz. In addition, Eubie Blake, along with, Noble Sissle, were responsible for writing one of the first, and most successful African American Broadway musicals ever”! “The program also includes 3 new compositions by Roberto Magris: “Shuffling Ivories”, “Clef Club Jump”, which showcases a modern approach to the times of Eubie Blake/Noble Sissle, and the composition “Italy”, which recalls musical contributions from a list of European jazz icons. Roberto selected some beautiful, and rare, jazz compositions from different periods and styles of jazz”. “For example: Cal Massey’s “Quite Dawn”, Billy Gault’s “The Time of This World Is At Hand”, Trudy Pitts’ “Anysha”, the classic jazz evergreen, “I’ve found a new baby”, Andrew Hill’s “La Verne”, and two Eubie Blake classics: “Memories of You” and “The Chevy Chase”. “So, it is with great appreciation to Roberto Magris and Eric Hochberg for this quality recording, the inspiration, and the creativity they brought to this musical masterpiece, and something jazz fans around the world have come to expect from the JMood Record label. This is a true and sincere musical celebration of timeless beauty you are sure to enjoy”!

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JMood Records...A Sound Choice...The intersection of art and audio!

 

NEW CD !!!

RELEASING DATE - MARCH 1, 2021

 

PREVIOUS HIGHLIGHTS:

 

 

 # 3 in THE ROOTS MUSIC REPORT'S TOP 50 CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUM CHART for the week of January 5, 2018

 

 

 

Purchase all of our CD's"Here"at the JMood Record Store

 

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Ira Sullivan 

The JMood Records Family is saddened by the loss of Ira Sullivan.  

Not only was Ira a jazz icon, he was a musical elder statesman for the JMood Family. We were introduced to Ira Sullivan by our co-producer Edward Blanco in Miami, Florida. We were on the heels of a successful “live” recording with Roberto Magris at the iconic WDNA Jazz Gallery in Miami, when we began discussing and coordinating a fresh “new” studio recording at the historic Criteria/Hit Factory in Miami, Florida. 

This session was recorded in studio “A” with Grammy Award Winning recording engineer ,Carlos Alvarez and afforded us an opportunity to bring in some “new” JMood Record Jazz Trekkers and friends from the Miami area namely, Jamie Ousley, Rodolfo Zuniga, Shareef Clayton, Mark Colby and the jazz legend Ira Sullivan. 

The project was entitled “SunStone”. Not only was Ira Sullivan reunited with some of his own band members but was able to record with Miami natives Shareef Clayton (New York), Mark Colby (Chicago) and JMood Records International jazz pianist, Roberto Magris from Trieste, Italy.   

For me, I could not ask for more of a dream come true team, than to work with these fantastic musicians, band leaders and hit makers at the legendary Criteria/Hit Factory studios. 

Which brings me back to Ira Sullivan!   

After he agreed to work with us on the session, before, and, also after the session, we maintained a healthy friendship over the past few years. Either I would call him, or he would grace me by calling me. 

I found many chances to pick his brain or inquire about all the legends he had worked with in the past to seek some caveat about these jazz masters and his experience with them and connect me to this jazz tradition I love so much. 

For example, on the last “live” performance I attended in the Kansas City area before Covid-19 shut everything down, featured the music of Dexter Gordon. This performance was attended by his wife, Maxine Gordon who was also promoting her “new” book about her husband, Dexter Gordon.   

After this experience, I was inspired to do some additional research, only to find out Ira Sullivan had performed and recorded with Dexter Gordon! 

Several days later, I called Ira, and inquired about this experience with Dexter. He confirmed the fact, then, added the last performance and conversation they had together in Chicago, when Dexter Gordon informed him of his plans to move to Europe.   

His memory was so vivid, experience so vast and his musical abilities as a multi-instrumentalist is well documented. 

Over the past few years, my wife and I would time our travels to Chicago so we were there at the same time Ira would make his pilgrimage to Chicago to perform at the Jazz Showcase. On these occasions, would meet and have met other amazing musicians and jazz upstarts that Ira would use on his performances or would sit in on these occasions after the Chicago Jazz Festival. These visits would also reunite me with another JMood Records Jazz Trekker in Chicago, Mark Colby, who also greatly admired Ira Sullivan. 

Working with Ira Sullivan was a pleasure and a privilege for me. 

He would end all his conversations with me on the phone or in person with “God Bless”! 

God bless you and your family Ira Sullivan! Thanks for everything.  Rest in peace! 

  

Mark Colby 

The JMood Records Family are saddened by the loss of our friend , Mark Colby. 

I first met Mark Colby in Chicago, 2016 performing at the Brookfield Jazz Society. Some friends of Roberto Magris had assembled a unit to perform when they found out Roberto was coming from Italy to Chicago to open some new opportunities. 

I remember hearing Mark for the first time on this occasion and saying to myself ,“where has this guy been all my life!” His tone ,and technique were great, and, I could sense I was in the presence of a very special talent, without knowing his musical history. 

After the performance, I approached Mark and said how much I loved his playing, and that we need to do some things together. With his quick wit he said, yeah, yeah, yeah…! I said, no man, I really mean this…! I want to record you. We had become friends ever since. 

In 2017, and, for the next few years, I recorded him along with JMood Records International jazz pianist Roberto Magris, and some other great talent, which, also included music icon, Ira Sullivan. 

Ira was also a mentor to Mark in the early years of his music career, even up to this point. The two were reunited in Miami on the “SunStone” project recorded at the historical Criteria/Hit Factory Studio “A” in Miami, Florida. 

Our last performance and recording together was in November 2019. We were in Chicago for a performance at the Jazz Showcase, followed by a studio recording with Eric Hochberg, and, Roberto Magris  (Mark had introduced us to Eric several years prior).  That project is yet to be released entitled, “Shuffling Ivories”, and afterward, we recorded a duo project with Mark entitled, “Side By Side”, with Roberto Magris on piano, and Mark Colby on sax. 

Mark was a musical big brother to me. We talked off and on thru out the years about recording, jazz music history, and most of all life in general. 

Chicago is a tough market for outsiders, artist managers and an independent jazz label like mine.  Several jazz clubs snubbed us. However, Mark went to bat for us on several occasions, assisted us in getting booked at the Jazz Showcase on several occasions, and , we recorded a couple landmark recordings for JMood Records. Mark loved to record, perform, and connect on a deep level. 

My family and I spend quality time with Mark in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Miami talking about his life and time in South Florida, performing with jazz greats of the past, and gigging around in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. 

One funny story that we have talked about off and on and that made us all laugh, was a flight we booked for him from Chicago to Miami for the “SunStone” recording project. 

We were trying out a new airline to save a few bucks, and the whole experience became a nightmare! My wife and I had to run interference several times before he left Chicago to Miami and on his return trip from Miami to Chicago. We apologized, laughed, and made up over a good steak dinner. However, it was the running joke for the rest of our trip in Miami and we promised not to use that airline ever again! 

Mark was quick witted, good humored, friendly, and a talented soloist and musician. His own audio recordings as leader of the past the last few years, showcase his technique, tone, and musicality and knowledge of the audio recording process. 

I suggest checking them out if you have not already. Mark Colby has also been nominated several times around the world by his peers as one of the best sax men of his generation. We last communicated in June and August 2020. 

We will miss him. 

Rest up my friend! 

 

Suite!

Roberto Magris

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JMood Records is pleased to release the New Roberto Magris CD entitled “Suite!” “Suite!” is a beautiful musical project conceived several years ago! Currently we are in a worldwide pandemic with Covid-19 We could not have imagined such an outbreak to subsequently forecast better times ahead. My concept of Suite! began when I had contacted all the musicians on the project and had coordinated the beginning of the preparations for recording. It was the very first time we had worked with the engineers and recording studio in Chicago, Illinois. They were amazing! As a result, I said secretly to my self something Jackie Gleason, a famous comedian, actor and T.V. host in Florida used to say…” How sweet it is…!!!” It was indeed sweet, because I coordinated the services of some top and first call musicians in Chicago. Naturally, it was not my first time working with marquee and top-notch musicians, but, for some reason, this occasion was special for me. We had worked with Chicago’s first call sax man Mark Colby on another performance and recording project in Miami, Florida a year or so before and on another occasion a few years before that where I told Mark, “We are going to work together real soon…!” This was our first with top notch bass man Eric Hochberg, good friends and teammate of Mark’s. Eric has worked with a who’s who of artists (one includes Celine Dion, one of my all-time favorites. Remind me to ask him about that …) Then, the drummer, Greg Artry (who I met a year a so before when he worked with Ira Sullivan on his yearly trek and performance in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase for the owner and icon Joe Siegal). I told Greg; we will be working together in about a year! He reminded me of a young and energetic Idris Muhammad, a powerful musical stylist I had worked with years before. Eric Jacobson, trumpet, is a first call musician not only in Milwaukee, but, also in Chicago! I heard his playing and admiration for trumpeters like Lee Morgan and I knew it would be magical! He also helped us gig in Milwaukee to promote this great new recording. We had a blast!!! Roberto was hell bent on spoken word for this project. We went back and forth on this, for and against. He had remembered my daughter had done some work with spoken word years ago when, to me, it was not so cool having my daughter out till 3 and 4am for this sort of underground movement years ago. But Roberto had envisioned and taken the title Suite! to another level. With the play on words for me, he took it as an opportunity to create a master suite of sorts! What resulted is truly amazing! I could not have imagined such an outcome with the musicians and the audio recording, nor could we have predicted the pandemic we are navigating thru. All is quite a coincidence. So, this release and press release is posthumous for a couple reasons!
We initially scheduled to release this in early part of 2020. However, on the recommendations of the recording engineers we worked with in Chicago, they thought we had a great chance to receive a Grammy in a couple categories. We raced around putting things together, website, replication, and shipment to the judges hoping for our chance in the follow spot. Only to have some controversial issues pop up on the Grammy Board and organization for which we may not have received the consideration we may have deserved. But the lesson here is, you must believe in what you do whether anybody else cares or not. Grammy or not! It’s about the music, the accolades, will come when they come. We have operated with that mind set for years now. So, we present to you our masterpiece, “Suite!” Enjoy!

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