Spring Into Swing
SAM CRAIN is a jazz guitarist and composer from Springfield, Illinois, with 19 other CDs to his credit-all available here on CD Baby. His playing has a strong bebop streak, but also contains elements of R & B and other styles, with a lyrical edge all his own- imagine perhaps George-Benson-meets-Robert-Cray, or along that line.. SPRING INTO SWING is Sam's 2nd CD effort. At this juncture, he'd made 2 trips to Manhattan and was much influenced by the energy of the place as well as the high quality of jazz players there. The title bears on the fact that it was recorded on the first day of Spring, and by the cover photo taken in bustling midtown Manhattan, at the corner of 53rd st (aka Swing St, especially hopping back in the '40s)and 6th Avenue. All the material is original, written by Sam, though some of it derives from jazz tunes-'Kimber Lee' being taken from 'Donna Lee' and 'There will Never be another You'. Featured, as on many jazz albums, are a few alternate takes which had a spark to them Sam felt shouldn't be wasted. The overall form of the CD is designed as an arch form, a sort of loose ABCBA kind of structure. As a model, Sam used 'The Bill Evans Album', in which the first 2 tunes were the last 2 tunes, so the album ends as it begins. It is hoped that this will be a pleasing listening experience. Some of central Illinois' finest were on hand for this recording, particularly saxophonist Doug Stone, though pianist Tom Becker, drummer Steve Adleman and bassist Gordon Jackson certainly contributed well. This CD has enjoyed some online sales, not only throughout the US, but in Ireland, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong,Germany, Finland and Japan as well. LAST CD SOLD: 02/02/08 (domo arigato, Japan!). Sam is currently playing with his own group, The Sam Crain Trio, and freelancing with various folks. Educated various places, Sam holds a Bachelor's in music composition from Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore MD. He has written a variety of classical works, including a String Quartet, 2 Piano Sonatas, and orchestral, chamber, solo and electronic music. Teaching experience includes 'Artist-in-Residence'for Sangamon State University's 'Blues-in-the-Schools' program 1980 Springfield IL; The Music School (guitar & music theory)Springfield IL 1981; Lincoln College, Lincoln IL (guitar)1984; plus much private instruction. Performing experience includes Cicero Slim & WWIII in 1980-81 as bassist, playing all over Illinois and into Missouri & Indiana; guitarist with Gina, Dean & Scoundrel, LA-based 'showband', playing all over U.S., into Canada & Mexico; guitarist w/ Frank Trompeter Quintet 1993-96, with whom he played in Japan at the Ashikaga Jazz Festival in 1995; The Sam Crain Quartet 1996-2005. For 2006, Sam has a working trio: guitar, bass and drums- with the occasional horn player or piano player (or possibly singer) added in For more info, and much more, please visit my website. FUN FACTS ABOUT THIS RECORDING: Produced by Sam Crain Recorded and mastered by Michael Taylor Duplication by Eastern Standard Productions,Inc All Compositions by Sam Crain Recorded March 21, 1999 at Jazz Central Station, Springfield, IL; and March 25, 1999 at Taylor Music, Pawnee, IL Sam Crain- electric and acoustic guitar Doug Stone- tenor saxophone Tom Becker- piano Gordon Jackson- bass/electric bass Steve Adleman- drums DOUG STONE had at that time just graduated high school, en route to Northern Il Univ in Dekalb IL, and was already off and running. He'd already been featured in Down Beat's 'Jazz on Campus', a longtime student of David Baker, and had a discography going: besides my recording, Doug is featured on David Hoffman's 'Groovin'. And with all that going, a very nice, down-to-earth guy, with none of the attitude that often accompanies 'wunderkinden'. He adds a lot to this recording. TOM BECKER was 'house musician' at Jazz Central Station atop the Springfield Hilton, where he played solo and led a trio which backed up various singers. He's had a long career in music, which started in the 60's playing with Wayne Cochran-and sharing the stage with such legends as Otis Redding and James Brown. Tom adds a lot here, particularly on 'One for Dad'. Sounds a bit like Max Middleton (with the Jeff Beck Group). Tom's composition 'Nital Leef' is featured on my CD 'Rose of Loami and other Selections', recorded in April of 2001. GORDON JACKSON was a grad student at Eastern Illinois Univ, known for their terrific jazz program, and played a fair amount of gigs with me at that time. He's now up in Chicago, working and hopefully playing. His best work on here is I think the loping lines which help to characterize 'Lester Sleeps In'. STEVE ADLEMAN was in Central Jazz Station's house band at the time of this recording. He's from Champaign-Urbana, and has played many gigs with me, as well as other recording projects. Steve has also worked with Jeff Newell, Rachael Lee and the late bluesman Eddie Snow, for whom he also did a lot of the administrative stuff. His best moments on here is the brushwork in 'Lester Sleeps In'.