I trust all is well with you. As some of you know, I’ve been on a 21-day fast, one that leads up to Resurrection Day, and I will admit, it has NOT been easy in some key areas, but in the spirit of the fast and the meaning behind it, I’ve decided to feature some tracks by some artists whose music is closely related to the reasoning behind the fast I am undertaking. The first artist is gospel smooth jazz keyboardist Ben Tankard.
I discovered Ben over ten years ago, when the whole genre of gospel jazz was pretty new, as well as new to me. I hadn’t thought of such a combination would exist, but exist it did and still does. Upon discovering it and him, my own musical compositions and live playing took an additional direction…even leading to the formation of a group I current play with, 150 East. I’ve purchased every original release Mr. Tankard has put out, save the “Best Of” compilations…and they are all well worth listening to.
All Music Guide says this about Ben Tankard:
He’s been called “the Quincy Jones of Gospel,” and besides being one of the best-selling instrumentalists in Christian music, keyboard player Ben Tankard has justified his tag, producing many stellar gospel projects as well as serving as an executive vice-president at Tribute Records, for which he has recorded extensively. Born in Florida to a minister father and a missionary mother, he began playing drums in church at the age of three. He later graduated to tuba and was offered several music scholarships to college, though he eventually accepted a basketball scholarship instead.
Tankard endured a rough period of depression and homelessness when a knee injury prevented him from turning professional (though he was drafted by the NBA). A visit to a revival service put him on the right track, an almost overnight, he became a very talented keyboard/organ player. Tankard began his witness in song with 1990’s Keynote Speaker, recorded for Tribute Records. He continued recording and soon moved into production and arranging as well, calling on his reserves of early musical training to provide impeccable jobs for Yolanda Adams, the Alabama State Mass Choir and Michael Bruce. His albums were often light jazz works, offering soothing, reflective gospel instrumentals that were similar to mainstream efforts from George Benson and Kenny G. By 2002, he had released enough albums to put together a “best of” collection, highlighted by a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You Will Know” featuring Take 6. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide
Kume-Bi-Yah – Ben Tankard/Instrumentally Yours
Instrumentally Yours – Ben Tankard/Instrumentally Yours
Play Me In Your Key – Ben Tankard/Play Me In Your Key
I Believe You Love Me Now – Ben Tankard/The Minstrel
Week-End Forecast – Ben Tankard/Let’s Get Quiet – The Smooth Jazz Experience
Ben’s Coffee House featuring Tim Bowman – Ben Tankard/Play A Lil’ Song For Me
Overjoyed – Ben Tankard/Play A Lil’ Song For Me
Ribbon In The Sky – Ben Tankard/Song Of Solomon
What A Friend – Ben Tankard/Keynote Speaker
For God So Loved The World – Ben Tankard/Keynote Speaker
Be With You – Ben Tankard/Keynote Speaker
Welcome Into This Place – Ben Tankard/Instrumentally Yours
Eden – Ben Tankard/The Minstrel
You Will Know – Ben Tankard/Instrumentally Yours
Here’s Ben’s cover of “You Will Know”
…and his track “Play Me In Your Key” with guest Kirk Whalum
The online presence of Ben Tankard is as follows:
The Ben Tankard Website
You can listen to an interview with him regarding his latest CD, “Let’s Get Quiet”, here
All the tracks listed above can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and various other places…as well as in retail stores.
Thanks for listening to another special edition of The Sunday Soundtrack.