Way back in the early days of Winter (before the storm), when asked
about my music, my answer was always short and simple. "I'll let my
music speak for itself." But in this case, I think a few words of
explanation may be in order.
I started playing music for one reason only. It wasn't to become famous,
to get girls, or to make money. It was for LOVE: the pure love of music!
Things have worked out quite well. I did get somewhat famous (which
actually turned out to be rather fun), I got ONE GIRL (my wife Monique
who is absolutely perfect), and I have made money (enough to enjoy life
but not too much to worry about). The years have brought many unexpected
twists and turns, but ONE thing in my life has never changed. I still LOVE
music with the same intensity and passion it has always held for me!
When I say I love music I mean ALL KINDS of music. This is clearly
evidenced by the multiplicity of styles and influences intermingled in
the music I've made over the years - much to the dismay and confusion of
those who try to catagorize what I do (and equally as much to my own
satisfactiotion and sly amusement).
I can't say that this effect has been entirely unintentional, since part
of what I've tried to do throughout my career is to broaden musical tastes
by shaking people lose from some of their strict musical preferences and
prejudices in the hope that this might allow them to more fully experience
and enjoy EVERYTHING that's out there. (The Beatles were wonderful in
this regard and therefore top my list as the undeniabe all-time heros of
Nevertheless, having said all this, Jazz has always been my first love;
and yet, I've still never done an all-out Jazz project. Why? - I don't know.
So, I've decided to do one and here it is. THIS IS IT! For all you musicheads
out there who prefer my more eclectic adventures into the unknown,
HERE WE GO! And for any of you I've ever given cause to pose or ponder
the musical question, who is Edgar Winter? HERE'S THE ANSWER!
I believe Jazz and Blues are the two uniquely American art forms that
will stand and endure as truly great contributions to the world of music.
To me, Blues is like the old great grand-daddy with that world of wisdom
and experience who's seen and done it all; while Jazz is like the rebelious
kid who's learned a few new tricks of his own, and thinks he can show the
old man a thing or two.
Another analogy might be the Tree of Music with Blues as the roots,
(the foundation), digging deep and drawing on the primitive essence and
energy of the Earth itself; while Jazz, bebop, rock, and fusion would be
like the branches and leaves (grounded, fed, and nourished by the roots),
but reaching for the sky and beyond to the limits of the imagination:
breathing in the air of life, drinking in the universal light of the sun,
and seeking through the struggle of survival to discover the nature of
existence and the source of it's origin.
Jazz evolved and was literally born from the Blues. They are both
spontaneous art forms, being based more on individual creativity than
composition; and for me they are inseperable. If there is one common
thread that runs through ALL my music, it is the Blues. This is true not
only of MY music but of ALL the current contemporary music of our day.
It was this idea that inspired me to record my last CD "Winter Blues",
which I must touch on briefly here in order to properly explain "Jazzin'
The concept of "Winter Blues", instead of the usual collection of
traditional blues songs, was rather to include examples of the ever
increasing variety of styles and forms that have evolved and developed
within the blues itself; and in this way, to demonstrate the profound
influence and empact that Blues continues to exert over the entire
spectrum of the music scene today. It explores the interrelationships
between the Blues and other contemporary styles: such as R&B, gospel,
soul, jazz, rock pop, and country.
"Jazzin' The Blues" is the next step in a logical progression, and I think
of it as a sequel since it takes the same working concept and extends it
into the relm of Jazz; tracing it's roots back to the 12 bar blues and
continuing through swing, bebop, funk, and fusion. I play my usual array
of instruments: various synth keyboards, pianos, organs, basses, and my
main instrument (alto sax, with occasional tenor). I also sing, so I wanted
to strike a happy balance between the extended solos for the real jazz
fans, and the vocals, to hold the interest of the more general listeners.
The lyrics are essential, and so are included. These are real songs with
a very definite message, character, personality, and viewpoint all their
own. They are also liberally suffused with my own (sometimes subtle -
sometimes bizarre) sense of humor. I had lots of fun with them and I
think they'll get a few laughs (they actually tell the whole story in
themselves so be sure to check them out).
There is a cool guest list (as there was on "Winter Blues") which up to
now includes Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, and Hiram Bullock (guitars);
Will Lee (bass), Gregg Bissonette (drums), and Lee Thornburg (trumpet).
It was truly wonderful and heartwarming to find all these great
musicians so interested and even excited to be a part of this project and
I thank them all deeply from the bottom or my heart. I would also like to
take the opportunity here to offer my humble thanks and pay tribute to
the musical heros who have inspired and shaped my own music, and whose
influences are most evident in this work: Mose Allison, Jimmy Smith, Ray
Charles, and Cannonball Adderley (maybe I should have asked Mose to play).
There's one more thing I'll mention before closing. I have also begun and
am concurrently working on yet another project which will form the third
and final part of what might be considered a "Musical Trilogy" I'm going
to call the next one "Rockin' The Blues", and it's going to be HEAVY! I hear
stratospheric screaming vocals, incendiary guitars, Body-slaming drums,
earthshaking mega-bass (with reinforced sub-sonic synth bottom), and an
insane asylum of mad scientist synthesizers and keyboards.
Please pardon my digression; if I've strayed to far from the subject at
hand, I apologize. But, I didn't even realize I was doing a Trilogy until
I started writing this (cool idea), and I just had to tell SOMEBODY! It
seems like an interesting concept that could be both intertaining and
educational as well. The cronology of Blues-Jazz-Rock is not only of
historical significance, but also happens to parallel my own musical
development (kinda neat).
Well, I guess that's about it for now; but the best is always yet to come!
I usually close with "Keep On Rockin'", but since in this case that doesn't
seem quite apropos, I'll just say keep on -
"Jazzin' The Blues"