December 19, 2011, I embarked on a new direction musically with a performance at Barter Theatre (Abingdon, VA) entitled “Tidings of Comfort and Jazz”. While I’ve certainly played jazz in lots of contexts before, this was the first time I had ever attempted to present myself as a jazz artist. I put together a stellar quartet which included (in addition to myself on keys, of course) Andy Page on guitar, Brandon Miller on bass, and Jerry Greene on drums. On a few tunes, we also were fortunate to have the vocal stylings of Sean Campos with whom I work at Barter (he is an actor in the resident company there), but who also has great jazz vocal chops!
After about 45 minutes performing as a quartet, we took an intermission. For the second half of the program, I came out by myself and after a few brief words of introduction, sat down at the keyboard and proceeded to play about a half-hour of uninterrupted improvisation on many Christmas songs, reflective of the style of my “Christmas Solitude” CD. The band and Sean joined me on stage for one final song before concluding the night, which seemed to be an enjoyable evening for all who attended.
We were able to record the program to multitrack, and I hope that we’ll be able to use those tracks to mix and produce some sort of EP or full-length recording to release for Christmas 2012. In the meantime, I have put together some very, very rough mixes (I mean VERY rough!) of some of the songs from that program that you can enjoy.