Potted Palm Orchestra
Peter Ecklund, composer and multi-instrumentalist, arranger and author, has long been a beacon of artistic and intellectual inspiration to all who love the swinging sounds of American music from the 20's through the 40's. His cornet can be heard in the films King of the Gypsies, Fried Green Tomatoes, Eight Men Out, as well as in the Ken Burns films The Civil War, Baseball, and The American West. Peter has recorded with David Bromberg, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, Gregg Allman, Leon Redbone, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Livingston Taylor, Loudon Wainwright III, Hungry Chuck and many others. He has toured world-wide with Marty Grosz, Vince Giordano, Madeline Peyroux and Lindy Hop Heaven. Peter is featured on over thirty jazz albums as a sideman, and has recorded several of his own albums on Stomp Off, Jazzology, and Arbors Jazz labels. A subject in jazz critic Chip Deffaa's book, Traditionalists and Revivalists in Jazz, Peter has cemented his place in the jazz firmament through his own publications, Louis Armstrong: Great Trumpet Solos, and Bix Beiderbecke: Great Cornet Solos, both published by Charles Colin. Peter lives in New York City. Scott Foster, guitarist and vocalist, is recognized throughout the swing music community as the rock-solid beat at the center of the finest rhythm sections on both coasts. For several years in San Diego, Scott anchored the Big Band Express rhythm section before moving to the Washington, DC area, where he performed with such widely known bands as Doc Scantlin's Imperial Palms Orchestra and the Tom Cunningham Orchestra. A dedicated student and admirer of the big-band guitar technique brought to swing rhythm by the Count Basie Orchestra's Freddie Green, Scott's own complimentary chord progressions are driven by a right hand like a steam hammer. His own 'all string, all swing' jazz quartet, The Metropolitans, was for years a staple of Washington's society circuit. Most recently, Scott completed his own album, Sweet Baboo, a collection of standards featuring jazz violinist James Mason. On this recording project, Scott plays two acoustic archtop guitars, a vintage 1948 Gibson L-5C, and an Emerald City by Steve Andersen of Seattle. Scott now lives in Northern California and is point man for his jazz trio Swingfish. The Potted Palm Orchestra evolved as a collaborative effort between Peter and Scott after several years of playing and teaching together at Jay Ungar and Molly Mason's Ashokan Western & Swing music camp in New York's Catskill Mountains. Assisting Peter in instructing his popular jazz orchestra classes, Scott became enamored of Peter's arranging genius and faithful adherence to the intimate 'hotel orchestra' sound of the '20s and '30s. Although both Peter and Scott had each enjoyed individual success in their own styles and music circles, it wasn't until one of their students suggested that they collaborate on a project that they realized their styles and skills might create something greater than the sum of it's parts. With an eye on the joy and whimsy of the pre-war American musical scene, and a commitment to creating a unique and enduring sound that can only be termed as instantly charming, Peter and Scott offer to you their collective artistic labors in the form of The Potted Palm Orchestra.