Trumpeter, Composer and Educator Charles Tolliver presents Connect, his first studio album in 13 years.


Scott H. Thompson



New York-based trumpeter, composer and educator Charles Tolliver presents Connect, his first studio album in 13 years.

There's no title track on the new album from Charles Tolliver, but the name -Connect - isn't some ethereal abstraction: it's an invitation. Release date: July 31st.

"I wanted the music to connect in these times," explains the trumpeter-composer, a 50-plus-year music veteran and the co-founder of the legendary 1970's jazz label Strata-East Records. "I'm asking the listener to get it: to get what I'm doing, where this or that song is going, and what's meant here or there, and how the soloists handle it. Those are connections to be made within each song, and then they can also connect them to each other."

Of course, that's what any musician asks of their audience. Tolliver, however, has more up his sleeve than that. There are four songs on Connect (Gearbox Records), recorded in London last November with an all-star quintet (alto saxophonist Jesse Davis, pianist Keith Brown, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Lenny White). Tolliver carefully selected them for a panorama that documents jazz's evolution during the time he's been a part of it.


"Triumphant... 'Connect,' Tolliver's first album in over a decade, stands out in large part based on the quality of his compositions. The caliber of his company helps too."
- Giovanni Russonello, New York Times

"A great unexpected gift... He still has so much fire in his playing and he's got such a mind for composition... It really coheres as a band. I hear this really great combination of the old heads digging into a groove in this way that feels so earthy and alive and then this fresh contemporary tilt."
- Nate Chinen, NPR Music

"...a fine consolidation of the vocabulary the trumpeter has devised over five decades, which is a deeply touching take on hard bop and modal jazz...At the age of 78, Tolliver has deserved elder statesman status, and this is the kind of cultured work, with intellect and emotion in symbiosis, that befits an artist who has contributed a great deal to modern music during a lengthy, eventful career."
-Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise, ★★★★

""This track in particular just really resonates with me," Nubya says about Charles Tolliver's first studio material in more than a decade. "Blue Soul" is a glorious nugget of cool with classic-era Blue Note-energy imbued throughout. Charles is an unsung hero in the jazz world who makes music for the true music lovers. "I've had ['Blue Soul'] on repeat over these last few weeks and I've just been loving getting deeper into it," Nubya shares."
-Nubya Garcia, Essence's 'The Playlist'

Charles Tolliver (trumpet)
Buster Williams (bass)
Lenny White (drums)
Jesse Davis (alto sax)
Keith Brown (piano)
Special guest Binker Golding (tenor sax)

1. Blue Soul 9:38
2. Emperor March 13.32
3. Copasetic 6:06
4. Suspicion 9:58




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About the Author / Scott H. Thompson

About Scott Thompson Thompson served as Assistant Director of Public Relations for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York for almost a decade. With a background in broadcast journalism, Thompson’s voice and work has been heard on the Associated Press Radio Network, the Mutual Broadcasting network and NBC-AM New York, on The Morning Show. His experience spans radio, television, print and the internet. Thompson co-produced the New Haven Jazz Festival from 1994-2000. A prolific writer, Thompson has contributed to DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazziz, and the All Music Guide. He penned the CD liner notes to Herbie Hancock Head Hunters, Weather Report 8:30, George Duke Brazilian Love, Stan Getz The New Collection, The Essence of Maynard Ferguson, and The Essence of Al DiMeola. Scott is one of the original members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Editor’s note: Style Quarterly is very pleased to make the connection with Scott and values his enthusiastic support of Jazz.


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