Mix a little blues, latin jazz and traditional jazz with some hard-bop and soul and what do you get. You get Blackbird 3.
Blackbird 3 is a three piece jazz band from Austin, Texas that likes shaking things up musically. Their debut CD is simply titled BlackBird3 but the music is far from simple. Recorded in Bastrop, Texas at Sundayhouse Studios by recording engineer Stephen Ceresia, the CD takes the listener on a musical journey of jazz genres.
The opening track “A Walking Thing” is a fun old time New Orleans style song that mixes old and new stylings into a great toe tapping tune. You can imaging the band warming up for their first set while playing this tune.
“Nostalgia in Times Square” the next song on the CD has the band, now a sextet with the addition of Rick White on trumpet and Paul Klemperer on tenor sax and Russell Scanlon on guitar continuing that New Orleans feel as the horns and guitar take turns exploring the musical landscape of the song.
“Lullaby of the Leaves”, “John Henry”, and “Sister Sadie” have the trio back and you can tell that the band members are having a great time playing these tunes. The music flows effortless from their instruments and you feel the bands enthusiasm come right through the speakers.
Jazz Vocalist Tameka Jones joins the band for “Angel Eyes” and she bring a whole new feel to the band. Likewise when Liz Morphis joins the band in “If You Never Come To Me”. Liz’s airy and purely sensual vocals float over the track as she sings the classic Brazilian tune. One of my favorite tunes on the CD is the classic “Poinciana”. Blackbirds 3’s version is such a nice take on a classic that I can listen to it over and over. Wayne Duncan’s steady drums keeps the beat while Sean Hopper’s bass keeps the song humming and all the while, Angelo Lembesis is playing his keyboard like nobody's business.
Blackbird 3 is by far one of my favorite CD’s of 2013 and one that I think everyone should add to their collection.