We are very pleased to announce that the recording sessions at BRC Audio Productions will begin in October.
The music will be released commercially on the Artists Recording Collective label.
We will produce a limited quantity of audiophile quality vinyl records.
And we will release digital albums via our subscription service only.
With the standards project, I selected 17 of my favorites by other composers along with 4 of my own original works to record with Christopher Burnett Quintet and five guest musicians (CbQ+5).
I’m using the additional instruments to supplement the music, but a primary consideration is to retain the jazz quintet aesthetic and feel of the music too.
My jazz ensemble has been performing this music each month for the entire year during our residency at Black Dolphin in Kansas City.
Our music has developed the aesthetic of a working group, rather than an assemblage of great players getting together for a special occasion or event.
Along with our engineer, Bill Crain, his expertise as a recording artist and producer will no doubt help keep us on point during the sessions.
There are three recordings by CbQ+5 to be released on the ARC label:
- “Standards Vol. 1”
- “Standards Vol. 2”
- “Standards Vol. 3”
Jazz was born in New Orleans about 100 years ago (early 20th century), but its roots can be found in the musical traditions of both Africa and Europe.
In fact, some people say that jazz is a union of African and European music.
(from Jazz In America)
Considering the fact that Jazz music is over 100 years old, it’s also logical to contend that the body of documented works is relatively enormous.
And thus, the number of masterworks worthy of consideration is significant as well.
I believe significant artistic, economic, and educational opportunities are missed if we do not license, record, arrange and perform these works (along with our own original compositions).
To play Jazz repertoire in conjunction with new works has been my artistic goal from the beginnings of my career.
This also realizes my belief that in order to modernize the economic infrastructure for Jazz artists, we have to do business that supports the music in more ways than playing casual gigs that don’t always provide living wage opportunities to contemporary artists. So…
- By paying for licenses to record and arrange these masterworks, I’m contributing to the Jazz economy.
- By paying musicians to perform contracted services to document the music on recordings, I’m contributing to the Jazz economy.
- By paying for recording studio services from a fellow arts business, I’m contributing to the Jazz economy.
We will never see the industrial infrastructure and organizational systems that I perceived were once found when the American Federation of Musicians served to stabilize and provide an economic standard on most local music scenes.
However, I’m observing more artists and business people working today in our modern era are conducting themselves in similar entrepreneurial fashion.
There’s lots of hope!
I have at least 50 Jazz masterworks that I really love for various reasons.
As a composer, naturally, I hope to record my own original compositions.
But, I also want to record the work of other composers I grew up listening to as a jazz artist and student of the music.
Ultimately, it comes down to the music itself and the artists performing it.
Kansas City is a truly deep scene in many ways and it may be largely overlooked by the major media markets.
The musicians I perform with are on a level with the state of the art today.
And, I really enjoy the artists who are on the call sheet below for this project, both as musicians and humans.
STANDARDS VOL. 1 (ARC-2925)
SESSIONS CALL SHEET
Mock-up of Track 7
“Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)”
by AC Jobim/G. Lees
arr. Christopher Burnett
Lyrical Context: “Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)”
Quiet nights of quiet stars
quiet chords from my guitar
Floating on the silence
that surrounds us
Quiet thoughts and quiet dreams
quiet walks by quiet streams
And a window looking on the mountains
and the sea, how lovely
This is where I want to be
here with you so close to me
Until the final flicker
of life’s ember
I who was lost and lonely
believing life was only
A bitter tragic joke, have found with you,
the meaning of existence, oh my love
*NOTE: My arrangement is an instrumental rendition. The English lyrics of Corcovado as recorded by Frank Sinatra are posted here for context.
The composers and their respective works I have selected to record with CbQ for each volume of the “Standards Project” are as follows:
- John Coltrane
o “Giant Steps” and “Grand Central”
- Chick Corea
- Miles Davis
- Paul Desmond
o “Take Five”
- Gil Evans
- Benny Golson
o “Along Came Betty”
- Herbie Hancock
o “Dolphin Dance”
- Jimmy Heath
- Joe Henderson
o “Black Narcissus” and “Recordame”
- Antonio Carlos Jobim
o “Corcovado” and “Triste”
- Bronislau Kaper
- Sonny Rollins
- Wayne Shorter
- Stanley Turrentine
NOTE: It must be noted that the absence of Charlie Parker and his music is glaring indeed. But, I’m planning another project that is devoted solely to presenting some of my favorites from among Mr. Parker’s work from my perspective. Stay tuned for that.
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