Happy Holidays (Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, etc) to all. A lot of you catch my tweets about what I’m doing musically, so I wanted to give you a peek at where it all happens. All the composers, songwriters, musicians, etc have such a spot, most of them (obviously your truly) tend to call it a lab of some sort. I was talking with a friend yesterday, who’s a songwriter/musician/producer about studio workspaces and how they run the gamut of styles. I kinda thrive on ergonomics, comfort, and organization, etc…helps the muse flow freely. As for as tools, I’m a firm believer that the best utilize what they have to the max to get the results needed.
I’m looking forward to completing a long awaited CD that my partner and I have been working on, continuing work on a collaboration called “contempojazzsoulhop” with my boys Fave and Todd, a smooth jazz project with KLWJazz, more remixes for Philip Clark, gospel jazz keyboardist Kevin Battle, vocal group Destined 2 Praise, vocalist Dana Yates, more production work with AfterSix Productions, saxophonist Harron Evoria, annnnnnd my own CD project, whew. Ok, anyway, here’s mine, in it’s current form:
That’s about it…now u see where the tweets flow from, the hangout spot.
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