We’ll be closing out the weekend with a performance from saxophonist Tim Green and his quintet. We have presented Tim’s band on three occasions in the past, the first of which was shortly after he graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in June of 2004. Since then, Tim has gone on to receive many honors, including a second place finish in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, and has recorded and/or performed with an array of artists including Roy Hargrove, Israel Houghton, Mulgrew Miller, Fred Hammond, Jon Faddis, Kirk Franklin, Christian McBride, and many more. You can read Tim’s full bio here.
Tim was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about his compositions, his collaborators, and what we can expect to hear on Saturday night. Without further ado, Tim speaks:
In 2005, you released your debut album, Divine Inspiration (G Major), which features mostly hymns and spiritual songs. How did you approach that material?
My first album, Divine Inspiration, was my first offering to God. I chose to do a record featuring hymns as well as a few originals. I wanted to keep the instrumentation really simple and light for the most part. Hymns and spirituals have some of the most beautiful melodies, and I really wanted to showcase the pureness of the melodies without a lot of soloing.
Tell us about your forthcoming sophomore release.
My new album will be a much more expansive version of my personal hymns, which are original songs that I wrote in relation to scriptures or stories in the Bible that I might have been reading at the time. The songs feature titles such as “Philippians 4:13”, “Psalms 1”, “Peace”, “Silaom”, “Hope”, which are references to the Bible. You can hear the influence of all of my favorite jazz composers and musicians. The harmony in these originals tends to be more expansive, while the melodies are simple for the most part.
The new album, which is as-of-yet untitled, will feature some of my favorite musicians, including Orrin Evans, Warren Wolf, Rodney Green, Obed Calvaire, Allyn Johnson, Gilad Hekselman, Kris Funn, Josh Ginsburg, Romain Collin, Quamon Fowler, Quincy Phillips, and Adam Johnson. I love the fact that I have a lot of friends that are great musicians, and I wanted to include their voices on this second album.
Your quintet featuring Gilad Hekselman, Orrin Evans, Ben Williams, and Obed Calvaire performs at The Jazz Gallery on Saturday, January 14th. How did you select the personnel? What can we expect to hear on Saturday?
Well , I think the show on January 14th is going to be very special. This is a band of musicians that I’ve been hoping to assemble for a while who are the best of the best: first call musicians on the New York jazz scene. They also all happen to be friends of mine, for which I’m grateful.
I’ve known Obed since high school: we attended the Vail Jazz Workshop in 1998, played in the high school GRAMMY band together, and went to the Manhattan School of Music together as well. Obed was one of the first people to play my originals, and has helped me both musically and as a friend since I started playing. He’s a dear friend of mine, and I’m always excited to play and hang with him whenever we can.
I just started playing with Orrin recently, but I’ve been a fan of his playing and his music for a long time . I’ve had a few chances in the past two years to play and record in some of his groups, which has been incredible. I’m honored to have such a great musician and incredible person on the show.
Ben Williams is an incredible musician and phenomenal bassist who I met in D.C. maybe three or four years ago. Ben totally blew me away when I heard him play the bass, which seems to be the case amongst everyone who has heard him. I have always tried to keep up with him whenever possible, and I’m glad he could make this show.
I met Gilad through Obed, and we’ve been playing together for about two years now. He’s an incredible musician that I’m really thankful to have a chance to make music with. He really played beautifully on my album, and I look forward to everyone getting to hear him interpret the music in person.
I’m also working on brand new music, which we will premiere at on Saturday. It’s going to be a special one.