Chicago Soul Jazz Collective is a jazz ensemble dedicated to performing the classics from the early 1960’s Soul Jazz Era. The Collective plays an extensive repertoire of songs by such luminaries as Ramsey Lewis, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris, Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine and many more. Now, the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective announces their debut album, Soulophone and a record release party at Wire in Berwyn on February 13th.
“Soulophone, the debut recording by this ensemble, is a labor of love and we hope that our excitement at having the opportunity to play and record these tunes translates to the listeners as it is a true honor to be a part of this group and to be able to pay homage to this incredible style of jazz and the legends who created it”, explained co-founder John Fournier Born from a horn section recording session for a Robbie Fulks track when saxophonist John Fournier bonded with trumpet master Marques Carroll over their love of early ‘60s soul jazz. The idea of starting an ensemble showcasing the grooves and tunes of that specific repertoire began that day, with Marques in charge of assembling some of the finest players in Chicago while Fournier gathered material. Marques enlisted Marcin Fahmy, Keith Brooks, Andrew Vogt and Kyle Asche and the group began rehearsing and booking shows.
“From the very beginning this group has had a spark. The concerts are well attended hard-grooving affairs and the recordings for this album were cut live and the vibe flows so easily from this ensemble that it has grown from being a fun side project to a musical force to be reckoned with. Soul Jazz is a style of jazz that is approachable by all kinds of listeners and it can soothe and excite the senses in a most satisfactory fashion. Everything on our debut record are well known and lesser known chestnuts from the soul jazz era and we are heading back into the studios to record a second batch of classics along with a few originals we have crafted in the style.”
In a city rife with extraordinary talent, the members of the Collective stand out. John Fournier is a saxophonist, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger and educator. His work in the theater has earned him a Joseph Jefferson Award for original music and lyrics and he has created original works for Second City Theatricals, 500 Clown, Steppenwolf, Redmoon Theater, Red Tape Theater, The Kennedy Center and P.S. 122. As a performing sideman, some of the artists he has had the honor of working with include Bernadette Peters, Jerry Butler, Raul Midon, Robbie Fulks, Jon Langford, Prince, The Bee Gees, Bobby Rydell, Luis Enrique, Bob Newhart, The Mighty Blue Kings and Leslie Gore.
Marques Carroll is a diverse trumpet player in Chicago who has become a top rated musician in the field of Jazz Music and Education. Originally from St. Louis, Carroll moved to Chicago to pursue his musical career in 1996 where he attended DePaul University. He obtained both his Bachelor’s Degree and his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies Performance. Marques appears often with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dana Hall, and in performances with artists such as Christian McBride, Etienne Charles, Meshell Ndegocello and Nicholas Payton. Marques has also played lead trumpet for the Chicago Yestet for the last five years and as a soloist for groups and artists such as blues guitarist Guy King, The Ojays, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Mary Wilson and the Larry King Orchestra, taking him throughout Europe, Vietnam and the Montreal Jazz Festival. He is presently an active member of the Count Basie Orchestra.
Andrew Vogt, a bassist from Chicago, has performed with Donny McCaslin, Ernie Watts and Nate Watts. As a member of countless groups including Bonzo Squad, Pocket Radio and the self-led AV Club, Vogt is well versed in both the role of a sideman and a band-leader. His most recent jazz fusion album “The AV Club” received great acclaim and reviews from writers and he is set to put out another album later this year.
Keith Brooks is an active performing and recording drummer in the Chicago area. He received a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Business from Elmhurst College and Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from DePaul University. He has shared the stage with a number of great Jazz musicians and composers such as Phil Woods, Benny Goldson, Steve Weist, Bill Holman, Doug Lawrence, Gary Smulyan, Jeff Hamilton and Mark Colby. He is also currently the Minister of Music at the Chicago Salem M.B.H. Church in Chicago, Drumline instructor at the Chicago Jesuit Academy, and Percussion & Piano Instructor at Musician’s Workshop.
Amr Marcin Fahmy is a pianist originally from Krakow, Poland. He studied at Depaul University and has been performing in Chicago and abroad for over 20 years.
Beginning his professional career in Chicago in 2001, Kyle Asche has performed with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Melvin Rhyne, “Killer” Ray Appelton, Chris Foreman, Victor Goines, George Fludas, Ben Paterson and many others. While Asche is a versatile guitarist adept and comfortable in many different genres, the tenets of his style often find him in the company of many of Chicago’s premier jazz vocalists and Hammond organ bands. Now nearly 20 years into his tenure in Chicago, Asche continues to perform around the city on a weekly basis. He has held the jazz guitar faculty position at Loyola University Chicago since 2010.
1. PRAYER MEETING (6:05)
2. THE ‘IN’ CROWD (6:49)
3. SOUL SHOUTIN’ (5:14)
4. LOTUS FLOWER (7:54)
5. THE RUMPROLLER (7:30)
6. WADE IN THE WATER (6:28)
7. THE CAT (5:38)
8. ADAM’S APPLE (7:52)
Marques Carroll, trumpet
John Fournier, tenor saxophone
Amr Marcin Fahmy, piano
Kyle Asche, guitar
Andrew Vogt, bass
Keith Brooks, drums