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.