Geils,Jay. Robillard, Duke. Beaudoin, Gerry
New Guitar Summit, an all-star swing jazz and blues CD featuring guitar masters Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin. The enhanced CD also includes a live bonus video track, âSwing With Dr. Jake,â recorded by the guitarists in late 2002 at the Stoneham Theatre in Massachusetts, which is playable on a computer CD-ROM drive.
New Guitar Summit contains 11 tracks, including covers of âBennieâs Bugleâ and âSeven Come Elevenâ (Charlie Christian/Benny Goodman), âAinât Nobodyâs Businessâ (Billie Holiday), âPerdidoâ (Juan Tizol), âBackdoor Bluesâ (Eddie âCleanheadâ Vinson) and
âGlide Onâ (Bill Jennings), as well as a number of original songs. The album was produced by Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin and recorded at Dukeâs Mood Room in Pawtucket, RI.
While this is the first time all three guitarists have recorded together, theyâve known each other for many years and frequently would jam with one another or play together as a unit, which was the primary catalyst for New Guitar Summit to be born. âWeâve been friends for many years and itâs just a thrill for us to play this music we all love but never get enough chances to play,â says Duke Robillard, the four-time W.C. Handy Award winner as Best Blues Guitarist, who formed the legendary Roomful of Blues band, later replaced Jimmie Vaughan in The Fabulous Thunderbirds and has recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jay McShann and Herb Ellis, in addition to his own stellar solo career. âAfter doing several gigs together in the last couple of years, we decided to do this album,â adds Robillard. âHalf the tunes are things weâve been playing live and the other half are songs we really liked and thought would fit in well.â
For most listeners who only know Jay Geils as the founder of the enormously successful blues/rock group the J. Geils Band, his playing on New Guitar Summit will be a revelation, but itâs nothing new to the Boston-based guitarist. âIâve been a jazz fan all my life,â enthuses Geils. âMy father took me to see Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck when I was a kid and I heard my first Benny Goodman records with guitarist Charlie Christian when I was ten,â he continues. âMy jazz interests eventually led me to the blues and then I got sidetracked â if you will â with the J.Geils Band. After the band broke up, I decided to revisit my roots in jazz, especially players like Charlie Christian, who is probably my main influence.â
Perhaps the least of the three known to mainstream music audiences, Boston born and bred Gerry Beaudoin has carved an incredible reputation for himself within jazz circles as an outstanding musician, composer, arranger and educator. Gerry has won numerous awards both as a solo artist and as leader of the Boston Jazz Ensemble. In 1992, he teamed with mandolin wizard David Grisman for the all-acoustic album, Minor Swing, and later joined forces with Grisman again as well as jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli to record the 1998 CD, Just Among Friends. Heâs also performed or recorded with a host of other artists including Jay McShann, Eddie âCleanheadâ Vinson, Levon Helm, Andy Summers and Ronnie Earl. It was Gerry who served as the music connector for all three guitarists to get together in the first place. âWe found that we all had lots in common: guitar, jazz, blues and making music thatâs not pigeonholed,â says Beaudoin. âThese songs all mean something to us, and we loved playing the guitar harmony parts!â
In addition to the music and bonus live video track, the enhanced CD includes individual bios and photos of all three guitarists. Stony Plain Records also plans an October release of the live performance at the Stoneham Theatre on DVD with an interactive menu, including interviews with Jay Geils and Gerry Beaudoin.
Perhaps Jay Geils sums up the idea of this project best when he states: âwhen the three of us get together, we play music from the time when the guitars were big and the amps were small!â
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