Gathering the great musicians of our day to present a "Standards" program can be a task that does not always garner the respect of critics and fans alike. However, when done well, it can demonstrate the emotion and depth behind these historic melodies, and even more so the power and focus of these brilliant musicians. The essence of the jazz experience is musicians coming together to express their individual voices and blend them together as one. As Bob Sheppard states, "That is the reason we create music together. It is to share the experience of the music in the moment." "From The Hip" (BFM Jazz) is THAT moment.
On May 21, 2006, a small studio audience witnessed four of the finest musicians around assemble to take the "Standards" task to hand. George Klabin, President of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, invited premier Jazz pianist David Kikoski to perform at a special live audience concert at his private studio in Beverly Hills. This project is a select documentation of that day's performance.
The quartet takes on nine selections ranging from Cedar Walton's "Bolivia" to Chick Corea's "Tones for Joan's Bones" to John Coltrane's "Mr. PC." Alongside these classics come outstanding moments on the recording with the classic "My One and Only Love" and a heartfelt "Autumn Leaves."
David Kikoski's credits include John Scofield, Brian Lynch, Peter Erskine, Red Rodney, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Christian McBride, Joe Henderson, Joey Baron, Dave Holland, Mike Stern, Chick Corea, Toots Thielemans, Victor Lewis, Tom Harrell, Gary Thomas, Marcus Miller, Michael Brecker and yes, many more. Kikoski's passionate performances have been talked about for years. His approach and intensity to the piano is unmatched.
To fill out the group, Kikoski hired some of the finest musicians on the planet for the event. For the tenor chair, he called in Bob Sheppard. "Shepp," as he is known to some, has numerous distinguished collaborations, which include eight years with Freddie Hubbard, and tours and performances with Chick Corea's ensemble Origin, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Horace Silver, Lyle Mays, Nat Adderly and the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band. Some of his more significant recording credits include Steely Dan, Rickie Lee Jones, Randy Newman and Stevie Wonder.
The late Dave Carpenter covered the bass chair. Dave worked with major jazz artists including Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Mike Stern, Allan Holdsworth, Sadao Watanabe, Alan Pasqua and Herbie Hancock. According to legendary drummer Peter Erskine, "He was not only a bassist's bassist, but a pianist's bassist, a drummer's bassist. Dave Carpenter was a BAND's bassist supreme."
In the drum chair, Kikoski brought in the great Gary Novak. Novak started gigging at a very young age, notably achieving a place in Chick Corea's band at age 28, and has performed with Brandon Fields, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, David Sanborn, Anita Baker, George Benson, Bob Berg, and Allan Holdsworth among others.
When four jazz musicians gather on stage with no rehearsal and just the knowledge of the "changes," the real spirit of the music that we call jazz occurs. This is different! Enter into the Standards biosphere of KCNS.