A little more Solsonics

One of my favorite recordings of all time is Jazz in the Present Tense by the Solsonics. It came out in early 1994 and I love every song, every arrangement, the tight sound, the playing…everything came together for me on that. Nearly 25 years later, it hasn’t aged at all.

Jazz in the Present Tense by the Solsonics

Like everything else you love, you can’t get enough of it. Other than some work on Guru’s second Jazzmatazz recording, that was it for the Solsonics. Or so I thought. I recently did some searching since there is always something new on the web. And I found something.

Solsonics founders Jez Colin and Willie McNeil appear to have penned “Yellow Butterfly” for a band called The Party. The track was produced by the Solsonics for that band’s 1993 farewell release, The Party’s Over…Thanks for Coming. The song sure sounds like it came out of the Jazz in the Present Tense recording sessions. It is the unmistakable Solsonics vibe. I love it.

I don’t see a way you can buy the track digitally. Fortunately, it’s on YouTube. Listen and enjoy:

Guess the artist from the lyrics 1

Occasionally, I’ll post a stanza or two from a contemporary jazz vocalist’s song and you reply with who it is!

Here’s a fun one:

And when God gave out rhythm
He sure was good to you
You can add, subtract multiply
And divide by two
I know today’s your birthday
And I did not buy no rose
But I wrote this song instead and I call it…

Contemporary jazz 25 years ago – May 11, 1991

Looking back at the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart from May 11, 1991, you see some of the first recordings from the post-MCA acquisition of GRP Records. Greenhouse by Yellowjackets, Love and Understanding by George Howard, and Healing the Wounds by the Crusaders were all in the top ten.

album cover to the 1991 recording Greenhouse by the Yellowjackets

Greenhouse was the first recording featuring new saxophonist Bob Mintzer. The music continued the trajectory away from pop-jazz that had most evident in their previous recording The Spin. Mintzer is still with the quartet as is founding member Russell Ferrante and, several years away from the band, William Kennedy.

Healing the Wounds was a complete surprise when it came in to the radio station where I was volunteering. No advance notice or hype. You could pull that off in 1991. Produced by Marcus Miller, Healing the Wounds featured band founders Joe Sample and Wilton Felder in great form. I still love the opening track “Pessimisticism.” Continue reading “Contemporary jazz 25 years ago – May 11, 1991”