I’ve played with alto saxophonist Andy Ehling since 1983. Andy and I went to high school together, played in jazz band, and practiced every day under an old railroad bridge in Orange County California, sometimes late into the night. After high school, both of us went to Berklee School of Music, and studied with George Garzone. After Boston, we both moved to Japan and lived in a Zen Dojo practicing meditation under the supervision of Roshi Gudo Wafu Nishijima in the day and playing gigs at night. 13 years later we finally decided to do an album together. We rehearsed and recorded the material with Ryan Doyle on drums, Ryan McGillicuddy on bass and Leonard Thompson on keys. We went in the studio with Engineer/Producer David J. Carpenter (Big As Records) in May 2008 and made an album of original compositions (including 3 contra-facts based on some standard progressions: “Out Of Nowhere,” “Old Milestones” and ” The Night Has 1000 Eyes”).
Andy is a great melodic improviser, very lyrical and honest with a very original sound. He has managed to maintain a child-like quality and playfulness in his soloing and constructs his lines mostly by ear. As well as a being good friend and player, I’ve always thought of Andy as a sort of musical catalyst; on the bandstand, through his example, he reminds everyone to listen carefully, use space and stay relaxed.
You can download the album here. Or, to buy a hard copy of the CD go to CD Baby.