John Crawford III
On August 5th, 2014 John Crawford III went to walmart to buy his son a bb gun. A man erroneously called 911 claiming that Crawford was pointing the gun at customers in the store (100% disproved by video footage from walmart). Within seconds of arriving, John Crawford was shot and killed by police while standing in the pet aisle. A grand jury refused to indict police officers for the shooting.
Shortly after seeing this case on the news I composed a song for John Crawford III and have since released it on "Tri-Colored Eyes. The song's title is "Trey" which was John Crawford's nickname.
All digital sales of "Tri-Colored Eyes" are dedicated to the family of John Crawford. Please visit itunes, cdbaby, amazon music, etc. to buy your purchase of "Trey" or the album "Tri-Colored Eyes".
CLARK GIBSON/Tri-Colored Eyes: A good example of good taste being timeless, here we find the sax man taking it back to the hard bop 60s with B3 facing off against horn and undercurrents that go beyond the music informing it all. Tasty stuff anyone who's ever owned a Blue Note record will get right out of the box, this is some serious daddio jazz that know from whence it speaks. Killer stuff.
CHRIS SPECTOR, editor
Rootsville Jazz, Blues and Roots -Europe
Translated by Google
On September 3, 2019, the new album "Tri-Colored Eyes" by saxophonist Clark Gibson will be released. With his stunning compositions on Tri-Colored Eyes, Gibson honors the hard-bop organ / horn consortia of yesteryear, and brings the classical organ quintet sound in 2019 with a stellar ensemble of musicians by his side. Tri-Colored Eyes has Pat Bianchi on organ, Jim Pisano on tenor saxophone, Gibson's old collaborator Euan Edmonds on trombone, Jeremy Thomas on drums and Clark Gibson on alto and soprano saxophone and flute. Tri-Colored Eyes is Gibson's fourth release as a band leader. Clark Gibson is a jazz saxophonist, composer and teacher, director of Jazz Studies and assistant professor of Saxophone at Northeastern State University. He is a highly sought-after lawyer and clinician throughout the country. His progressive music is strongly rooted in the traditions of jazz musicians from the 20th century, the history of Western classical music, his own life experiences and musical traditions from cultures around the world.
Tri-Colored Eyes starts with the hard-bop driven "Nocturne Blues" that goes back to the recordings that Freddie Hubbard made with Johnny "Hammond" Smith on organ and Stanley Turrentine on tenor. With uplifting solos by Edmonds, Bianchi, Gibson and Thomas, the piece seems to reach a climax towards the end of Bianchi's solo when the steadfast brass section plays backbone under the rapid fire melodic invention of Bianchi. The title track of the album, "Tri-Colored Eyes", seems to encompass the intensity of the album as a whole, balancing worship, complaining about passages with bustling solo sections, showing every musician on their instrument.
One of the most influential moments on Tri-Colored Eyes is the moving ballad "Trey", composed for John Crawford III (nicknamed Trey), a 22-year-old father whose life was cut short and the victim of police violence in Beavercreek, OH in 2014. Gibson donates large portions of the proceeds from this album Tri-Colored Eyes, and the full proceeds from his composition "Trey" to the John Crawford Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating and supporting the families that loved ones have lost -and to settle brutality.
The song "Truth and Beauty" was composed for a personal friend of Gibson who "lived with a raw, honest personal code, and did not want to live any other way"; which evokes memories of figures as daring as Charles Mingus and Nina Simone. The declarative melody performed by Gibson, and the fine brushwork of drummer Jeremy Thomas drives this ballad forward in a powerful and well-considered way. This convergence of five fine musicians ends with the beautiful simplistic and exuberant "Slasty". This latest celebration of blues and soul will certainly bring the listener back to their reality.
Jazz Quad - Russia
Translated by Google
When saxophonist Clark Gibson began his career in Denver, Colorado, his frequent partner was organist Pat Bianchi. Then everyone went his own way and each achieved considerable success. The virtuoso Hammond organ of Bianchi is already familiar to our readers from the album A Higher Standard (2015), now it’s time to take a closer look at Gibson. The head of jazz studies at Northeastern University recorded his first album as a leader in 2010, since then two more of his works have appeared, and Tri-Colored Eyes, which will be released in early September, is his fourth album.
On it, Gibson and Bianchi work together again, and in general, the composition of the ensemble recording Tri-Colored Eyes looks rather unusual.
Clark himself plays al-saxophone and soprano-saxophone here, the second saxophone is played by tenorist Jim Pisano, another cleric in the lineup is the old Gibson partner trombonist Ewan Edmonds. There is no bass player in the ensemble, and behind the drums is Jeremy Thomas. As you can see, the organ, drums and trios of brass - you will not often see such a combination, so by itself such an ensemble sound is of interest. And now it's time to pay attention to what they are doing with such a quintet. Seven compositions of the album are the author's works of Clark Gibson. Already starting Nocturne Blues with solo parts of Edmonds, Bianchi, Gibson and Thomas sets the tone for the whole album. There are a lot of bright solos here, and the combination of the organ and the three wind instruments will please more than once (and, perhaps, surprise) the exacting listener. Very high-quality hard-bop, densely mixed with the intonations of blues, and in some places soul music, I personally liked it. Both in Gibson's compositional ideas, and in the play of his ensemble, there are no hackneyed clichés, the music is creative, although it is made on the patterns of the modern mainstream. Clark and social problems are no stranger. The spectacular ballad Trey was written by him in memory of John Crawford III, the 22-year-old black father of the family, who was shot by police under very doubtful circumstances in August 2014. This story in its time blew up America and led to exacerbation of tension in a society that actively protested against the unjustified use of force by the police. Risen then and seemed to be a forgotten problem of interracial relations. The entire income from this composition and a substantial part of the income from the album Tri-Colored Eyes as a whole, Clark Gibson transfers to the John Crawford Foundation, an organization that supports the families of the innocent victims of the police. Beautiful gesture and beautiful album - I recommend.
Jazz Life - Japan
This is a reunion session by saxophone player Clark Gibson and Pat Bianchi with whom Gibson worked together in his early career. With a blend of 3 wind instruments' rich harmony and organ, they revived good old soul-jazz. Excluding the 5, which has thrilling exchanges of solo in fast tempo, they create a funky and lyrical sound in either medium tempo or slow ballad. 4 is dedicated to the young African American man who was a victim of the fatal shooting incident caused by a white cop in 2014. The spirituality is sublimely beautiful.
Playing alto sax, soprano sax and flute, Clark Gibson leads a combo with Pat Bianchi at the helm, along with Jim Pisano/ts, Euan Edmonds/tb and drumer Jeremy Thomas. Gibson's soprano sears along with Edmonds in the grooving "Nocturne Blues" and is relaxed on the swaying "Love Letters". The waters get murky with Bianchi, as Gibson floats on the delicate "Trey" while his alto is soft on the radiant "Truth and Beauty". The title track is a post bop delight with some humming B3 and clever pulses along with Gibson's straight sax, while Thomas' ride cymbal rides the whip on the driving "Jack". Excellent team effort.
This is saxophonist Clark Gibson’s fourth release as leader and reunites him with one of his earliest collaborators, the in-demand B3 master, Pat Bianchi. It’s their mission on Tri-Colored Eyes, all Gibson compositions, to honor the hard bop organ trio sound of past years while con-temporizing it. When most folks think of organ-backed units, they land on soul jazz but while this certainly has some of those elements (“Slasty’), it mostly moves with hard bop and improvisational jazz grooves. And, it’s not a trio but a quintet instead. Aboard with Gibson (alto/soprano saxophone/flute) and Bianchi are Evan Edmonds (trombone), Jim Pisano (tenor saxophone), and Jeremy Thomas (drums).
Gibson began in Denver, Co where he developed his sound playing alto and soprano saxes with Bianchi on piano, as they performed throughout the state. As Gibson’s career took shape, he wanted at some point ot make a record with Bianchi on organ. This opportunity presented itself and Gibson arranged a session at Northeastern State University, where he is the Director of Jazz Studies. Yes, count Gibson as a composer and educator too.
These seven pieces excepting “Trey” all exceed seven minutes, giving the soloists ample room. The disc begins with “Nocturne Blues,” purposely hearkening back to the recordings Freddie Hubbard made with Johnny “Hammond” Smith on organ and Stanley Turrentine on tenor. Rousing solos come from Edmonds, Bianchi, Gibson, and Thomas with the piece building to a climax toward the end of Bianchi’s all-over-the-keyboard solo backed by sturdy horn ensemble playing, and superb beats from Thomas. “Love Letters” slides into a simmering, sensual groove with Gibson’s soprano out front. The title track merges the intensity of the opener with the tenderness of the previous as the band alternated lamenting passage with aggressive solos.
“Trey” stands out not only for its brevity relative to the others, but as a heartfelt dirge-like ballad, led by Gibson’s mournful flute. It was composed for John Crawford III (nicknamed Trey), a 22-year old father whose life was ended due to police brutality in Beavercreek, OH in 2014. Gibson is donating major portions of the proceeds of this album and the composition to the John Crawford Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating and supporting families who have lost loved-ones to police brutality.
“Jack,” the disc’s longest rack at over 12 minutes returns to hard bop with the horns in ensemble before each member gets a chance to stretch out, with Pisano’s tenor and Bianchi’s B3 solos especially outstanding. “Truth and Beauty” was composed for a personal friend of Gibson’s who “lived by a raw, honest personal code, and was uncompromising to live any other way,” a style modeled after bold figures like Nina Simone and Charles Mingus. It’s another ballad this time with Gibson leading the somber melody on alto, delivered with conviction while Thomas backs sensitively with his brushwork. Bianchi backs with sustained chords and fills before stepping out with a dazzling solo. Many of the passages here and in some other parts of the album present an organ trio sound, with Edmonds and Pisano laying out.
We do get the beautiful soul jazz in the bluesy closer “Slasty,” a tune that surely would satisfy those seeking the organ jazz sound from the ‘60s. The combination of this bluesy approach and the brash hard bop sound and tender ballads throughout the album, make for a nice, varied, and, at times, exciting listen.