Introducing the Jteam
About the Band The J Team is a five piece band which consists of sax, trumpet, piano, Bass and Drums. It was conceived in March 2001 by pianist/composer, Jeff Lawrence. Rather than call the band the Jeff Lawrence Quintet, Lawrence opted for 'The J Team' because he felt that the group wasn't the traditional Jazz Quintet. The styles of jazz would have more range and also feature some electric elements. There are some standards which the group performs, but the emphasis is more on original compositions composed by Lawrence. Influences range from Art Blakey, and The Jazz Messengers to Weather Report to The Yellow Jackets and everything in between. About the Album This record is our debut offering, and hopefully it won't be the last. Basically I wanted to present a good cross section of styles,something that would really embody who we are. Some original straight ahead jazz, some original jazz funk, and somthings that may not be labled so easily...can you say 'fusion Ballad?', and a couple of songs that would be recognizable to the jazz community at large. As far as the sound of the recording itself, I initially wanted to have a cross between that old sixties Blue Note sound and some of the later Miles Davis Columbia recordings. Due to the fact that some of the songs required more production than others, we basically ended up with two types of sound;a nice live sound for the songs where we all recorded in the same room, and a clean crisp sound for the songs we recorded separated. Overall, I'm pretty happy with ' Introducing The J Team 'and I'm looking forward to making improvements for the next record. About the Players Jeff Lawrence Piano, Keyboards, composition Born and raised in Teaneck, N.J. Lawrence became interested in music by picking out soul melodies such as 'Poppa was a Rolling Stone' on the piano. He went back and forth between Music and Art through High School. At that point, he became committed to music. By his senior year, he had fallen in love with jazz. Lawrence attended Bergen Community College where he obtained an AA degree. Then he went to Rutgers University where he got his Bachelors degree. At Rutgers he studied Jazz Piano with Kenny Barron as well as pianist Harry Pickens. There he honed his composition skills, and performed with artist such as Jimmy Heath, Terence Blanchard, George Coleman, Dave Liebman, Frank Lacy and others. After college he performed with various bands and recently, made his first CD appearance on Brad Jones AKA alias 'Uncivilized Poise'. Danny Zanker Acoustic and Electric Bassist, composer Background: Danny Zanker spent his youth in England, Israel and Texas. This cultural confusion, coupled with a formal education in jazz, laid the foundation for his musicianship. Moving to New York in May of '95 helped consolidate all his influences into an unorthodox and highly personalized style. His playing has been praised for it's profound sense of melody, it's deep rhythm and it's restless, searching quality. Danny's compositions draw from his Middle Eastern, blues and jazz roots, and they reflect his love of dance, lyricism and musical mood painting. Education: University of Texas ('87-'91). Studied jazz theory, composition and improv, and classical bass. Studied bass with Mark Helias and Dave Holland in N.Y. Performing Experience: Peter Epstein, Donny McCaslin, Dave Pietro, Rick Margitza, Joel Framm, Sabir Mateen, Roy Campbell, Will Connell, Darren Lyons Group, Tor snyder's Irrepressible Spirit and Super String Theory, Peter Mazza, Jonathan Kreisberg, Ed Litman's Splatt, . Festivals /Highlights: Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival (2000) with Darren Lyons Group at the Tap Bar. Bell Atlantic jazz Festival (1999) with Ed Littman's Splatt at the Tap Bar. Corpus Cristi Bob Marley Festival (1995) with Black Spot. Cancun Jazz Festival (1994) with Bad Shoes. KTSU What is Jazz Festival (1994) with Kinney Abair and James Bolden. Basses 1930's Czech bass - _ size in the Juzek style. Kubicki Factor Fretless electric bass. Chris Dragotta Saxophones Chris got started in High School band with some great teachers who showed him how to practice and who to listen to. After a few years in the practice room, he won a chair in the McDonalds Tri State Jazz Ensemble, a group that featured Slide Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, and other jazz performers. When it was on to Rutgers College, where, although an English major, Chris enjoyed classes with great jazz pianist Kenny Barron, and guitarist, Ted Dunbar, both notable performers and educators in New jersey. After college, Chris spent a year at Manhattan School of Music, in which he studied saxophone with John Purcell and Bob Mintzer, performed on baritone sax in on of David Bergers' Jazz repertoire ensembles. Since then, Chris has maintained a busy teaching and performing schedule in groups too numerous to mention. Matt Hankle Drums Born 8/21/76 Studied with Ron Zito, Ed Shaughnessey, John Riley, Scott Luna, Jay Dittamo. Recipient of National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Stan Getz, Clifford Brown fellowship, 1994 (l of 5 in U.S.). University of Miami 94-96 Performed with Joe Henderson, Garry Mulligan, Maria Schneider, Chic O'Farrel. Toured Austria, Germany, Croatia, Boznia '98 and 2001 with World/Jazz Group Dream Hunter. Performed at Deerhead Inn and Guggenheim Museum with Dream Hunter and guests Kenny Werner and Ratzo Harris. Recorded with Todd Rundgren '99. Currently freelancing and teaching in Tri-State Area. Endorses Vic Firth Drumsticks and Remo Drumheads. Nabate S. Isles Trumpet Born and raised in New York City, he received his BM at the Eastman School of Music and his MA at New York University. While attending Eastman, Nabate was a featured soloist with Rochester Pops Orchestra. He performed and/or recorded with esteemed musicians James Newton, Charli Persip, Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Lonnie Plaxico, Mike Longo, Uri Caine, Buster Williams, Grady Tate, Jay Hogard, Christian McBride, David Gilmore, and many others. He has performed and toured with the Jose Limon Dance Company. He will release his first solo album in the Fall of 2002.