Gabriel Plays It Straight

The Art of Jazz goes back to the turn of the (last) century, but arguably its Golden Age was the 1950's and early 60's. Jazz musicians not only spun endless and intricate melodic improvisational ruminations, but they composed a myriad of simple to complex songs to be used as launching pads for those flights of fancy. 'Tin Pan Alley' songwriters such as Cole Porter also provided a fantastic chordal platform for jazzers. 

Classic Jazz was birthed from the loins of traditional 'dixieland' or 'trad' jazz, and its subsequent incarnations of popular swing and big band styles, but blossomed as bebop on New York's 42nd Street at jazz havens like Minton's and Birdland in the late 40's

Jazz Vespers is a tradition which also started in New York around that time, by icons such as Duke Ellington, that integrated the secular and non-secular aspects of music and worship in a church environment.

At a recent Jazz Vespers gig at St Andrews Wesley, I put my quartet through its paces on a set of Classic Jazz standards from Horace Silver, Cole Porter, Isham Jones, Bobby Timmons, and even an original or two.

The band consisted of Jason Decouto on  piano, Timothy Stacey on bass, Chris Haas on drums, and myself on trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as some flute. Rev Dan Chambers provided a contemporary commentary (some would say sermon) and wrapped the theme up nicely with his musings. Garth Balint shot the video, but apologies to Tom Rose, who did a smashing job of the audio - but whose credits were inadvertently left off the videos.

We tried to keep it sweet and fun in that serene environment. Enjoy!


There Is No Greater Love

I Love You

Song for My Father

Let It Slide (original composition)

I am mostly known for my dozen or more contemporary jazz releases (including Album of the Year  award 2011), but my entire catalog can be found at, and my two mainstream releases can be found there, along with my five Billboard charting titles.

Come Out Swingin' (feat Michael Bublé before he hit it big, and it stayed on the Jazz Week charts for 8 weeks)

Swingin' Affair (feat Dee Daniels, Nancy Ruth, and the Big Band Trio)

Photos from Carol Carson

Photos from Gladys Lee