Gratitude-Review 2018

As Christmas 2018 approaches, I sit in gratitude for my family, friends and all the new faces I met on the road this fall while on tour. I visited cities I’ve missed the past couple of years. This year was filled with emotions regarding my 92 year old mother, Ruby Mae. Ruby is an inspiration to everyone who’s encountered her grace, love of singing and joyous spirit. I’ve traveled several times this year to Dallas, Texas checking on family. I enjoyed gigs to promote: “Tell Me the Truth” at Stoney’s Wine Bar and The Jazz Kitchen, both venues owned and operated by true jazz fans. The promotion for our first Skyline-Records cd, my fourteenth release, “Tell Me the Truth” was a success in many ways. I felt I told the stories I needed to tell, traveled the road back to my roots, plus made a political statement that needed to be made. I loved the group, some of the baddest instrumentalists in the world today; Mark Soskin, my partner for three albums, piano and arranging, Tim Ries, phenomenal tenor saxophonist who’s recorded sporadically with me since 1993, Dean Johnson a highly in demand bassist and pal who’s played on several gigs and the past three albums, Mitch Stein guitarist who’s simply the rockin’est/ bad ass, improvising cat I know, Rudy Royston drums was the new voice in this group, truly an amazing musician, an addition to any group and Nathan Eklund on trumpet, a great teacher and band leader whom I taught with at NJCU for several years. This was a stellar jazz band capable of Coltrane through the Rolling Stones, the deepest blues, gospel and Patsy Cline, that’s not an easy find. I’m grateful and honored these musicians gave me their best at Birdland Theater in September for our cd release and made the trek to Scullers in Boston. Mark Soskin and I put together groups for Denver, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. I also touched down in Nashville, TN. connecting with Pat Coil, great pianist, teacher and old friend who hooked up a great band for my music at Rudy’s Jazz Club. A huge Thank you to all my friends and musicians, Jeff Levenson editing and connections, Elizabeth Tomboulian, dear friend and pro taking care of maddening details in our office, Lee Tomboulian - arrangements, ie. the title track “Tell Me the Truth” plus many transpositions, updated chart copies, study help - you name it..Sarah Wickliffe and Mark Stetson, Sarah’s the best daughter a mom could have and film director, editor of my first concept video: “Tell Me the Truth”, Chuck and Sara Fishbein, videographer team for our video promo EPK recorded “live” at WBGO Radio in Newark plus 5 performance videos, captured at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. Michael Bourne, dj Singers Unlimited at WBGO, interviews and airplay, John Abbott Photography, a girls best pal for photos, Adele Fass, make up and hair for all of my images in recent years, even at the Grammy’s in 2012. Mike Carlson Mcpro Radio promotions and Doreen D’Agostino Media publicist. Of course, none of this happens without my partner in life, Paul Wickliffe, III. husband, recording engineer, producer, lyricist, advisor and confidant. Thank you! On to 2019.