Since being introduced to jazz music at the age of 15, Al Strong has worked diligently to master and refine his musical passions. Raised in Washington, DC, Strong undoubtedly carries an affinity for dance music of all disciplines, which carries over in his sound and demeanor. Many of his influences can be heard on his debut album Love-Strong, set to be released at the top of 2016.
LoveStrong is a "feel good" record, and traverses through various moods and colors of Strong's life experiences. The mellow sounds are sure to capture the ear of unassuming listeners who may not usually listen to jazz music. The listener who is well adept to improvisation and the blues will certainly be in for a treat as well, as they will find quite a few moments when the musicians on this album tell stories of struggle, triumph, mystery, and LOVE.
The goal for creating an album such as LoveStrong is to positively contribute to the body of work created by so many other well-versed and well-traveled artists. These artists have paved the way for him and many others, believing in their musical connection with the creator and mankind.
In addition to having the pleasure of performing for artists such as Branford Marsalis and Aretha Franklin, you can hear Al Strong's sound on a number of other projects available for distribution. These artists include Yazarah, Soul Understated featuring Mavis "Swan" Poole, and, The Foreign Exchange, along with others. Strong also balances his affinity for music with adjunct teaching responsibilities at North Carolina Central University, as well as festivals, shows, and summer jazz camps with his non-profit organization, The Art of Cool Project.
LoveStrong will be made available nationwide January 2016, and select North Carolina venues will have the opportunity to preview the album in late 2015.
released January 8, 2016
Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Steelpan - Al Strong
Drums - Jeremy 'BEAN' Clemons (1, 5, 7, 8, & (Clavinet) 10)
Drums - Iajhi Hampden (2 - 4, 6, 9, & 10)
Bass - Lance Scott - (2 - 7, 9, & 10)
Piano/Fender Rhodes - Ryan Hanseler (2, 6, & 10)
Piano/Organ/Wurly - Lovell Bradford (1, 5, 7, 8)
Hammond B-3 Organ - Charles Robinson (7); Joel Holloway (4 &10)
Guitar - JC Martin (4, 9, & 10)
Percussion - Brevan Hampden (5, 9 & 10)
Tenor Saxophone - Bluford Thompson, Jr. (1, 3 - 8, & 10)
Alto Saxophone - James 'Saxmo' Gates (4 & 10)
Soprano Saxophone - Alan Thompson (3)
Party Boys - Jordan Baker, Charles Robinson, Jeremy 'BEAN' Clemons, & Bluford Thompson, Jr. (10)
LoveStrong Vol. 1 Special Guests:
Ira Wiggins - Alto Flute (2)
Joey Calderazzo - Piano (3)
Devonne Harris - Fender Rhodes (9)
Ameen Saleem - Acoustic Bass (1 & 8)
Brian Miller - Tenor Saxophone (10)
Lummie Spann, Jr. - Alto Sax (4)
The KidzNotes Mozart Chorus - Children's Voices (2)
Tracks 2 - 4, 6, 9 & 10 were recorded at Playground Studios in Durham, NC on February 6th & 7th 2014.
Engineer: Chaka Harley
Eyes and Ears: Ivan Hampden, Jr.
Tracks 1, 5, 7, & 8 were recorded at Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC on December 17, 2014
Engineer: Mitch Easter
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