Have You Ever Seen Meadowlark Jivin'
And just what is a Meadowlark Jivin' anyway? A bird's-eye view of a meadowlark flight-surveying the continents of Soul, Funk, Jazz, and Blues? A funky bird spinning in flight like a Harlem Globetrotter launched trajectory bound to 'do-ya' in the ear-hole? It's all that and then some. After 7 years of working together, and two CD's under their belt, Meadowlark Jivin' has definitely put in the required hours and dedication to make for a unique and satisfying listening experience. Tim Van Schmidt of The Coloradoan described their CD release "Have you ever seen Meadowlark Jivin?" as a: "spicy, funky sound with irresistible rhythms, start-stop precision arrangements and a cool hip attitude." Brian Hull's songwriting, and passionate vocals are at the crux of the Meadowlark Jivin' experience. A published poet and lover of jazz, Hull's songs always tell a vivid story musically and word wise. And I quote: 'Califradgilistic-frigerator, spasticazazical-dispensator, when you're fast asleep, I call you an alligator, now what do you think about that?' Hull can sho nuff get funky on that guitar to boot. Audree Dillard, veteran Colorado drummer, keeps the groove pumping like hell with her outa-sight polyrhythmic funkitudes. She also lays down her soulful vocal harmonies throughout the disc. Today in 2006 Dillard can be heard touring with her all female trio "Glass Ceiling" and also with the blues revue "Peaches and the Brokers." Guitarist Quentin Young was integral in forming the Meadowlark sound found on 'Have You Ever Seen Meadowlark Jivin'. Hull and Young began collaborating as songwriters in 1997. As a soloist, Young is nothing less than dazzling. However, when the situation demands his understated melodic and rhythmic work lays out the proverbial red carpet that everyone else can walk on. The rock solid bassist Jim Abraham further anchors Meadowlark Jivin''s rhythm section. Abraham has both the soul and the know how to lay down a formidable foundation. The chemistry he and Dillard readily attain, has found many audiences getting up, getting into it and getting involved on the dance floor. Another ingredient to the Meadowlark Jivin' sound has been of the brass variety. On 'Have You Ever Seen....' sax-man and multi-instrumentalist, Tony Exum and trumpet man, Kirk Knuffke team up to lead the Meadowlark horn section, performing lines arranged for by Chicago composer and trumpet man, Pete Bartels. Exum and Knuffke can blow with the best of them. Exum's experience with Colorado Springs rap and R&B outfits and his jazz background give him a wide musical palette to draw from. Knuffke, who today lives in the Big Apple, is a free jazz recording artist when he's not studying the horn with Wynton Marsalis. With a rooting in jazz tradition and his willingness to reach towards jazz and soul futures, the horn section puts a decisively elegant touch to the 'Jivin' sound. Guests Hugh Ragin, internationally known trumpeter, and Nelson Hines, trombonist extraordinaire, also had their expertise and soul to the disc. Additionally, Walt Jenkins, Northern Colorado's funkiest man, lays down Hammond C-3 on several tracks including the tribute to Art Pepper: 'The Trip.'