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Music has taken saxophonist and composer Phil Scarff and pianist Lewis Porter to many places. They have performed and recorded around the world, as have their colleagues bassist John Funkhouser and drummer Bertram Lehmann. They’ve created music that takes listeners to exciting destinations. Their CD Three Minutes to Four is contemporary, East-meets-West jazz, where Indian raga merges with Western classical, where Ghanaian traditional fuses with improvisational, and where organic meets studied. Three Minutes to Four is where stunning performance creates pure jazz excitement.
The four musicians here have all been to the crossroads of world music and jazz, which is why this project really sings. Scarff regularly tours India and performs Indian classical concerts at major venues there. Porter, a prolific author and Ph.D., developed the only master’s program in Jazz History and has performed across the US and Europe with names like Liebman, Lovano, Bartz, and Ribot. Both Funkhouser and Lehmann are Berklee profs with a dizzying array of worldwide playing. Three Minutes to Four is at once deeply felt and eminently accessible, a glorious celebration of musical multiculturalism filtered through a prism of real jazz.
The critics are raving about Three Minutes to Four. Here’s what they have to say:
“Work at the highest level… With a soul.” – Jazz Quad
“Conceptually imaginative, impeccably performed.” – Downbeat
“Loaded with the smoking side of the east meets west… Real pros kicking it out.” – Midwest Record
“Absolutely beautiful.” – KCSB, Santa Barbara, CA
The Porter-Scarff Group features Lewis Porter, piano; Phil Scarff, tenor, soprano, and sopranino saxophones; John Funkhouser, string bass; and Bertram Lehmann, drums.
“Look To The Sky”
Soundcloud “Afro Blue”
Publicity: Music Web International, All About Jazz, Socrates Sculpture Park Performance, New York City Jazz Record, KL International Jazz, ALL MUSIC, JazzTimes, Audiophile Audition, OpenSkyJazz.com, DownBeat, Malay Mail E-Paper, Malay Mail, Amazon Business
Video: featured on Sonny Rollins The Bridge
Radio: BTRtoday Interview
CDs: Distribution: NAXOS of America
Mixed Media Client since: 2017
Brooklyn-born and bred Eric Wyatt owns a solid berth along the saxophone continuum originally laid out by guys like Parker, Coltrane and Rollins. Throughout his career, his playing has been edgy and inventive, heartfelt and poignant. In fact, his father was good friends with Rollins and after Wyatt’s dad passed away, Sonny Rollins became involved in Eric’s music. “After my dad passed in 1989, Sonny became very present in my music and offered his help. I was given the opportunity to record my first CD, Godson, on the Japanese label King Records. Sonny suggested the title Godson because it explained his and my dad’s Hope. The Godson CD featured Al Foster, Rufus Reid and Mark Soskin, all members of Sonny’s bands.
Look to the Sky, Wyatt’s debut for Whaling City Sound and his sixth recording overall, is magnificently realized, both instrumentally and emotionally. There are musical nods to his father (“Jolley Charlie”) and mother (“Psalm for Phennie”), to Coltrane (“My Favorite Things”) and a few other intimate touch points, some original, a few written by his accompanist, Benito Gonzalez. Indeed, Wyatt is joined here by excellent progressive musicians, including the resounding pianist Gonzalez, drummers Shinnosuke Takahashi and Kyle Poole, Eric Wheeler on bass and Keyon Harrold on trumpet. Together, their music is filled with hope and dedication, reciprocity and passion. With every recording, Wyatt flourishes, in terms of artistry and intensity, power and finesse. Look to the Sky is the man’s—and his band’s— finest and fullest record yet.
“Pete Fallico has been programming jazz radio in the Bay Area as well as producing his own podcast (Doodlin’ Lounge) for over 42 years.
He continues to promo jazz performances; produce recording sessions and write for notable jazz artists around the world.
He can be found at www.doodlinlounge.com”
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