Songs For My Friends

--:-- / --:--

Brett Burleson’s first record as a band leader is steeped in the jazz tradition of storytelling. Songs For My Friends is a personal record, not simply an afternoon jam session captured on tape.

The core of Songs For My Friends is the collaboration of Burleson and drummer Ryan Jewell (Ryley Walker, Tatsuya Nakatani). He is present on every track, whether it was recorded with Burleson’s band or began life as a duo in the studio. The interplay between the two musicians is telepathic. With every twist and turn one may introduce, the other responds. The group is rounded out by Roger Hines on bass, an alum of Ray Charles’ band, and Eddie Bayard, a regular in the Chicago jazz scene, on tenor sax.

The “friends” in these songs take many forms. Whether it’s the influence of departed friends (the late drummer Dave Weinstock’s playing was on Burleson’s mind, and Jewell employed one of Weinstock’s cymbals on the album), the inspiration of master musicians (“Song for the First Chord of Purple Rain” and “Naima’s Dream” point to Prince and John Coltrane, respectively) or the tight-knit interplay of a quartet who have been sharing improvisation and friendship for years.