Johnny O’Neal – In The Moment (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:11:53 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Smoke Sessions
This new release ranges from blues to straight-ahead to post-bop to pop tunes to ballads, each one fully explored and deftly illuminated by O’Neal and his electrifying bandmates, bassist Ben Rubens and drummer Itay Morchi. Unlike most of his past recordings, it shows off several of O’Neal’s own compositions, some of which date back more than 20 years but have never been recorded. This is Johnny O’Neal’s first studio album in 15 Years! Iconic Pianist/Vocalist overcomes struggle by choosing to embrace every precious moment. This performance features Roy Hargrove and Grant Stewart as special guests.
While every great jazz musician knows the value of spontaneity, few understand the true value of being in the moment quite like Johnny O’Neal. A rising star in the early 1980s, O’Neal left New York after a mugging in 1986. Performing and recording in Atlanta, St. Louis, Montreal and his native Detroit, he experienced another setback after he was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1998. Since returning to New York in 2010, however, both his life and his health have been on an upswing, cementing that long-promised star status at the age of 60. His new album, In the Moment, is his most vivid recording to date, fully capturing the elegant pianism and emotionally gripping voice that have made him such a beloved fixture on the NYC jazz scene ever since his unparalleled comeback.
In the Moment will be released on October 6, 2017 by Smoke Sessions Records — appropriately enough, as the label’s namesake club has been one of O’Neal’s home bases for the last seven years. The album features bassist Ben Rubens and drummer Itay Morchi, O’Neal’s regular working trio for the past year. The weightless swing and easy but deeply felt interplay the three share reveal the benefits of their regular residencies, which include late-night every Saturday at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club and Sunday nights at Small’s. Some of the biggest names in jazz stop by to hear O’Neal, and there’s no telling who might sit in during his sets on any given week. True to that policy, two very special guests dropped by the studio for this session — trumpet great Roy Hargrove and tenor-man Grant Stewart.
01 – Sweet Monk
02 – Guilty
03 – Churchill Grounds
04 – Savings All My Love For You
05 – After The Love Is Gone
06 – She Doesn’t Know (I Love Her)
07 – Slow Hot Wind
08 – Please Be Kind
09 – The Folks Who Live On The Hill
10 – Cgls
11 – People Make The World Go Round
12 – Sunday In New York
13 – Trav’lin’ Light
14 – Just A Dream (On My Mind)
15 – Being In Love With You
16 – Tropical Breeze
Recorded live at Sear Sound Studio C, New York, May 9, 2017.
Johnny O’Neal – piano (except “13”) and vocals (on “2,6,7,13 & 15”)
Ben Rubens – bass
Itay Morchi – drums
Roy Hargrove – trumpet on “1,2,6,12 & 13”
Grant Stewart – tenor sax on “1,6,7 & 12”