Jazz Hymnal: The Duets 1
The genesis of this recording began back in 1988. I had enrolled at Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn,N.Y.) to make a second attempt at getting a college degree. I met a young pianist, Joseph Roberts who was also at the school working toward a degree. Eventually, I learned that he and I were both Christians who shared an interest in a wide variety of music. As time progressed we developed a very good friendship and played music together on numerous occasions. One June day in 1991, I visited his church and we recorded some duets of us playing hymns using the piano and saxophone. After the session I made a remark, something to the effect of 'When I make my first recording, I hope that you would like to work with me.' Joe said that he would like that very much. Fast forward ten years and remembering the statement I had made at his church,I asked Joe if he would like to play on a CD I wanted to make. The answer was still the same. I told Joe about the idea that I had for the CD. The idea was to record a series of hymns with different instrumentation on each track over jazz harmonies. Each hynm would be used as a vehicle for improvisation, as if it were a jazz tune. Hopefully you will be blessed by our efforts. A little bit about me and Joe: I am a tenor saxophonist who is currently teaching in the NYC Department of Education. I have experience playing in small jazz groups (Bill Stevens Standard Time) and Big Band jazz groups (Jazz Unlimited Orchestra,Tonal Artiste Orchestra in the New York City area. I also write original jazz compositions which will be recorded on my own label JJQ Records in the near future. I currently play at First Church Of God, Far Rockaway in Queens N.Y. I am a native and current resident of Queens N.Y. Joe Roberts is an excellent gospel pianist and has led many church choirs in his native Brooklyn N.Y. He is currently the choir director of Universal Baptist Church in Brooklyn N.Y.