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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Inspired by mid-sixties Miles Davis and John Coltrane Groups, Aaron Comess Sets Straight Ahead, high-energy jazz quintet CD for March 2015

Drummer Aaron Comess has delivered by far his most straight ahead, purely-jazz album to-date, a high energy collection of originals and seminal covers inspired by an era that changed the course of his musical life: the Miles Davis Group from 1964 to 1968 (with Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter,) as well as by the John Coltrane Group (featuring Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison,) between 1962 and 1965. Comess’ new CD, entitled ‘Aaron Comess Quintet’ and set for March 2015 release, aims to evoke the joyful intensity he felt when exposed to this music. He comments: “The music made by these two groups changed my whole way of thinking -- and to this day are as inspiring as when I first heard them.”

This is a traditional jazz project, recorded live on-stage over the course of three sets and featuring Keith Loftis on sax (Roy Hargrove, Michael Carvin,) Barney McAll on piano (Gary Bartz, Kenny Garrett, Jimmy Cobb,) Richard Hammond on upright bass (Patti Austin, Angelique Kidjo,) Teddy Kumpel on guitar (Martha Redbone) and Comess on drums. Listen to samples:

The upcoming album is a combination of original compositions by Comess and one by Loftis, as well as covers of ‘Resolution’ by John Coltrane, ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ by Eddie Harris and made famous by Davis…and more. The collection is highlighted by its contrasting tracks -- ‘Africa’ is intense, melodic and truly memorable, and then ‘Catskills Last Waltz’ shifts to a completely different vibe, humorous, witty, nostalgic...’Intangible’ is smoky and kinda sexy, and ‘Resolution’ soars...

‘Aaron Comess Quintet’ marks Comess’ fourth solo instrumental release and his first to be described as “pure jazz instrumental”. His 2013 ‘Blues For Use’ had more of an overt rock vibe, and 2011’s ‘Beautiful Mistake’ was somewhere in between. ‘Aaron Comess Quintet’ was recorded live, in front of an audience, at Smoke Jazz in NYC. Comess adds, “The time felt right for me to make a record like this, as this music has always been a huge part of my musical makeup."

A CD release concert is in the works for Spring 2015, with venue and details to be announced after the New Year.

Comess’ headlining appearances have previously been previewed in The New York Times, Time Out NY, Modern Drummer and elsewhere, and he has long ties to jazz and Blues. Aaron has played with such greats as Roy Hargrove, Brad Meldau, Robert Glasper, Bilal, Roswell Rudd, Arnie Lawrence, Deanna Kirk and more.  Nate Chinen has shown support for Comess’ shows over the years, saying “Comess has long been a jazz adept.” As a member of the group New York Electric Piano (for the past 12 years,) Comess and band-mates scored a Top 10 jazz album with their most recent CD. Comess is currently studying with legendary drum master Michael Carvin.

More background info:
Comess recently appeared on legendary jazz trombonist’s Roswell Rudd’s record...and played a sold-out concert with him at le poisson rouge  (other noted musicians on the record and show were John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Bob Dorough and Fay Victor).

Aaron Comess also happens to be the drummer and a founding member of the multi-platinum-selling SPIN DOCTORS. The band recently released an acclaimed album of original Blues music, ‘If the River Was Whiskey,’ which earned the best reviews of their career and was featured in such A-level outlets as CONAN (TBS-TV), USA Today, Elmore Magazine, M Music & Musicians Magazine, RELIX Magazine, NY Observer, Time Out NY and much more.

Comess is a musician’s musician, long respected as a collaborator who has played on, co-written and/or produced over two hundred albums with an acclaimed and diverse roster of artists including Osborne, Edie Brickell, Isaac Hayes, Marc Cohn, Bilal, Rachael Yamagata, James Maddock, and more. Other upcoming and/or recent work includes Phil Ramone, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Malcolm Burn and Natasha Bedingfield. Comess is active in the local NYC rock, jazz, experimental music scenes and singer songwriter circuits, and records and produces at his ‘His House Studio’ in Brooklyn. Comess has successfully navigated the tricky music industry for over 20 years, managing to keep his original band (Spin Doctors) together, build an active career as a sideman/session player/producer, and make his own records as a composer/leader. With his 2015 jazz album he shines as a songwriter and continues to distinguish himself and expand his repertoire.

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