Having always found inspiration in the evocative recordings of Gil Evans and Miles Davis, and from the great balladeers - Dexter, Trane, Turrentine, Clifford Brown - veteran Seattle trumpeter/saxophonist Jay Thomas was always on the lookout for the right relationship with an arranger who could properly frame his vision for a recording of richly orchestrated ballads. Meeting the German composer/arranger/trumpeter Oliver Groenewald opened the door to several years of collaboration, culminating in this deep recording of lush landscapes and melodies, performed with the intention, clarity and sustained energy of a master melodist.
Recorded in one room, with no separation, no headphones, no overdubs, "I Always Knew" channels the works of Thomas' musical mentors while further establishing his own position in the pantheon of essential jazz voices.
•"...as conversant as he is with all the jazz idioms going beyond John Coltrane, Jay Thomas improvises with the joyous élan of his vintage progenitors...I'm brought back to the pure jazz feeling of the jam sessions of my youth." - Nat Hentoff, Wall Street Journal
Performers on this Album
Brad Allison - Trumpet and flugelhorn
Oliver Groenewald - Trumpet and flugelhorn
Jay Thomas - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Alto, Tenor, Soprano Saxophones
Dan Marcus - Trombone, Flugabone
Travis Ranney - Alto Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Pete Galio - Tenor Sax, Flute
Greg Sinabaldi - Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Adam Kessler - Drums
Michael Glynn - Bass
John Hansen - Piano