Ebony & Ivory Releases Debut Recording Red Hot - Featuring Guest Artists Dave Weckl and Victor Wooten

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Information on the debut CD of one of the hottest new Instrumental Fusion groups, Ebony & Ivory.

Once in a while a CD comes along that makes everyone sit up and take notice. Red Hot!, the debut recording of the performing Duo Ebony & Ivory is one such CD. It introduces major new talent, it features the diverse styles of an exciting young composer, and it dazzles with the unalloyed skill of seasoned performers. Ebony & Ivory is Andrew Gilpin on piano/keyboards and Fred Jacobowitz on clarinets/saxophones, with guest artists including Dave Weckl on drums and Victor Wooten on bass.

As writer Carol Cherwinski described it, “One of the charms of this CD is that it defies labeling. Its musical styles run the gamut from bluegrass/jazz fusion to classical, with ragtime (Maple Leaf Rag, Solace), Klezmer (Chassidic Dance), musical theatre, straight-ahead jazz, and even a lyrical New Age tune (Aes Sedai) tucked somewhere in-between.”

In response to the CD, Mychael Danna, film composer (Being Julia, Hearts in Atlantis) wrote, “Andrew Gilpin is a brilliant musician,” and characterized Gilpin’s compositions as “beautiful writing.” Original works on the CD include Blue Grass and Green Sky, Spanish Suite, Minority, Aes Sedai and, of course, Red Hot!

“Having Dave Weckl and Victor Wooten playing my compositions was a thrill,“ says Andrew Gilpin, who composed two new tunes for them for the album. In addition Gilpin recorded his popular arrangements of America (from West Side Story) and Tico Tico. The CD was recorded in Toronto, Nashville, Los Angeles and New York City. Other artists appearing on the album include Ted Quinlan (Guitar), Tom Hazlitt (Bass), Wilson Laurencin (Drums), Cliff Almond (Drums and Percussion) and Rodrigo Chavez (Percussion).

Clarinetist Fred Jacobowitz is a master of the Benny Goodman style and delivers authentic performances of Air Mail Special, A Smooth One, and Benjie’s Bubble. Andrew Gilpin, not to be outdone, offers up a stylish performance of Cy Walter’s arrangement of Heart and Soul that evokes the heyday of elegant lounge pianists.

Concert reviewers have extolled the Duo’s performances: “Mr. Jacobowitz delighted attendees with two Benny Goodman songs so well played as to be breathtaking.” Andrew Gilpin’s performance of Maple Leaf Rag was delivered with regard “…for the fine compositional features that make the piece so nice to listen to when done in the true Joplin fashion.”

Ebony & Ivory moves freely through a wide variety of musical genres and styles, creating its own unique brand of Red Hot! “instrumental fusion.” Until now Ebony & Ivory has charmed concert audiences throughout North America, but, with the release of Red Hot!, a wider listening audience can experience the feeling and the flavor of the Duo’s music.

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Robert Baird