by Russell Trunk
|Title – ‘I’ll Never Be The Same’
Artist – Jack Brandfield
For those not in the know, New York City Native tenor saxophonist Jack Brandfield is a passionate musician who brings his own style in carrying the torch for interpreters of the Great American Songbook.
His talents have been recognized by jazz luminaries that he has shared the stage with such as John Pizzarelli, Rodney Whitaker, Bill Cunliffe, and Harry Allen.
Jack even holds a B.M in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University and is currently a scholarship recipient from The Frost School of Music at The University of Miami, where he is completing an M.M in Studio Music and Jazz.
“The title track, ‘I’ll Never Be The Same,’ speaks to the inspiration behind the making of my debut album,” explains Jack. “For the past four years, I’ve had the great pleasure to be under the mentorship of two of my favorite musicians, Rodney Whitaker and Randy Napoleon.”
“The knowledge and insight I received from them on what it means to swing, how to present a melody and the importance of carrying the torch for this great American art form will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
“The making of this album is a celebration of the friendship and bonds I built with them.”
“The drumless trio is a sound that has always captivated me since hearing Stan Getz Meets The Oscar Peterson Trio at a young age. That album was a gateway for me to hear all the great tenor players of the 20th Century, such as Ben Webster, Johnny Griffin, and Zoot Sims, who are a few of my favorites.”
“I have always tried to emulate their ability to sing through the horn with confidence and a sense of subtlety and beauty.”
On his brand new album, a tribute to the aforementioned Great American Songbook, the aptly entitled I’ll Never Be The Same (releasing April 2nd, 2021 via Gut String Records), Jack pays tribute to these inspirations growing up, by attempting to do what they did best, whilst presenting his own favorite melodies within his own voice.
1. ‘Nobody Else But Me’ (6:31)
Featuring Jack on tenor saxophone along with Randy Napoleon on guitar and Rodney Whitaker on bass, the album opens with the lush, late night, underground, smoky club appeal of both ‘Nobody Else But Me’ and ‘Vignette,’ the original, and vinylesque piece ‘Where Leaves Change’ follows and then we get both the dulcet ‘Lover Come Back To Me’ and the dusky ambiance of the title track ‘I’ll Never Be The Same.’
Next up is the atmospheric ‘Andorinha’ which is itself followed by the first upbeat, and rather perky track ‘On A Slow Boat To China,’ before Jack’s choice of solo moment for Rodney comes forth.
Allowing him to pay tribute to his vast knowledge of Duke Ellington’s legacy, the truly imbued ‘Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me’ is then backed by Jack’s solo choice for Randy; a track that showcases the power of presenting melodies with clarity and sophistication that he possesses, the hauntingly perfect ‘Over The Rainbow.’
This quite wondrous album then rounds out with the gently upbeat ‘Bossa Nova Ova (Thad Jones),’ the yearning of ‘Ballad Medley,’ coming to close on the mid-tempo hipsway of ‘Wildwood’.
“The repertoire I selected for the album is a collection of my favorite songs and music that has significantly influenced me in some way,” Jack reveals.
“I have always been drawn to The Great American Songbook, and becoming a leading interpreter of these songs is a lifetime goal of mine.”
“With this record, I have begun the documentation of this process. It was also essential to record individual duo tracks.”