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Award Winning Composer, Henry Godfrey Jazz Orchestra, Attitude & Gratitude

The Henry Godfrey Jazz Orchestra's sophomore release, Attitude & Gratitude, is a collection of tributes to the many communities and experiences that have shaped Godfrey's artistic vision and worldview. Featuring premiere young musicians in the Boston jazz scene, each track brims with boundless excitement and energy, each solo a statement of identity weaving through the chord changes. Godfrey's writing both proclaims an individual vision of groovy, funk influenced jazz, while honoring the jazz luminaries who paved the path so far.

"For McCoy" is, as one might expect, a tribute to the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner, who passed in early 2020. The tune draws from several of Tyner's musical tendencies, like soaring modal harmonies heard on recordings like Fly With the Wind, and Tyner's iconic piano voicings. Pianist Rowan Barcham and guitarist Pritesh Walia both take enrapturing solos on this track, showcasing the HGJO's powerhouse rhythm section.

Go-Go flavored track "Mad Max" celebrates the city where Godfrey's career as a gigging jazz musician began, hometown Washington DC. Godfrey remembers playing gigs in DC's Adams Morgan and U street until midnight as a teenager, where he first heard the grooving sounds of DC's official music, go-go. "Mad Max" pays tribute with the same thumping drum part and gliding congas, along with intricate solis dancing across the groove. Nick Suchecki's raunchy bari sax solo, Eli Blocks' hip offering on trumpet, and Godfrey's drum solo all bounce through the tune like dancers on the floor at a Chuck Brown concert.

The record turns pensive with "Forgetting What Will Never Be, " a recognition of love that has been lost. Doleful melodies sing through featured trombonist Joey Dies across a slowly building bolero. The drama builds through solos from Dies and bassist Anna Abondolo, before a sudden shift into a fiery cha-cha for tenor saxophonist Ian Buss's solo.

The title "Hot Water" carries many meanings, the first of which being a nod to the food community that has carried Godfrey through the last few years. In addition to being a musician, Godfrey has also been a chef at an award-winning Japanese udon restaurant in Boston, where he earned the nickname Hot Water. The name also refers to the tempestuous nature of this swinging tune, representing a pot of water coming to a boil, then mellowing, then simmering, then boiling over. Trombonist Jasmine Sloane and tenor saxophonist Anton Derevyanko perform enlightened solos over an altered minor blues.

A&G finishes with Godfrey's anthem "We'll Get There, " an epic piece that placed in ASCAP's 2021 Herb Alpert Young Composer's Award. Like much art of the last couple years, this piece reflects the experience of living through the Covid-19 pandemic. However, rather than being a somber affair, "We'll Get There" celebrates the found communities and bonds forged in times of struggle. Laid on top of a churning drum groove, the band travels between sounds unified and disparate, including solos from trumpeter Matt Kelly and featured alto saxophonist Alex Ramirez. This all culminates in a Mingus influenced free section, in which the horns loosely chant through the instruments while Godfrey solos behind, recreating the cathartic feeling of joining together as a group in the face of adversity.
Tracks, Times:
1. For McCoy (Godfrey) 07:56
2. Mad Max (Godfrey) 12:54
3. Forgetting What Will Never Be (Godfrey) 09:47
4. Hot Water (Godfrey) 08:26
5. We'll Get There (Godfrey) 11:25

Player, Instrument:
(track number signifies soloist):

Saxophones:
Aaron Dutton, Alex Ramirez (track 5)
Ian Buss (track 3)
Anton Derevyanko (track 4)
Nicholas Suchecki (track 5)

Trumpets:
Miles Keingstein
Matt Kelly (track 5)
Eli Block (track 2)
Zoe Murphy

Trombones:
Joey Dies (track 3)
Jasmine Sloane (track 4),
Sam Margolis
Bass Trombone/Tuba:
Michael Juba Prentky

Guitar: Pritesh Walia (track 1)
Piano: Rowan Barcham (track 1)
Bass: Anna Abondolo (track 3)
Drums/Aux Percussion: Henry Godfrey (track 2)



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