MP3 Kilimanjaro - Homecoming
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9 MP3 Songs in this album (52:43) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Jazz-Pop, JAZZ: Smooth Jazz
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The Kilimanjaro story dates back to 1977, when guitarist Paul Asbell assembled a tight-knit quartet of like-minded players to experiment with the eclectic, jazz-based compositions he had written. Bassist Tony Markellis was first onboard,and was quickly joined by drummer Bill Kinzie and keyboardist Chas Eller; rehearsals were held, gigs were booked, and word-of-mouth spread quickly about northern Vermontâs new supergroup.
The musical chemistry between the 4 musicians was instantaneous and infectious, and led quickly to a shared goalâ to create original, jazz-based music featuring ear-catching melodic development, R&B and latin-flavored rhythmic drive, and soulfully virtuosic instrumental solos. By early 1978, Kilimanjaro had charted a path for its music that remains essentially unchanged, more than 30 years later.
The members of Kilimanjaro first crossed paths in Earth Audio Studiosâ the recording facility used and owned by renowned folk label Philo Records. Chas Eller was a recording engineer at Earth Audio, when not playing with his jazz-fusion quintet âCitizenâs Bandâ. Tony Markellis was a session regular there, working with most of the Philo rosterâ¦ including Mary McCaslin, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, and countless others. Paul and Bill also played on many of these same sessions, and the professional friendships formed at Philo soon led to a recording partnership with label owners Bill Schubart and Mike Couture.
Kilimanjaroâs self-titled debut recording, released in 1981, quickly rose to #3 in the national Jazz Radio Airplay charts. Shortly thereafter, an appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland laid groundwork for an international reputation as a strong live-performance group. Numerous tour dates followed, including bookings at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Kool Jazz Festival (at SPAC in Saratoga, NY), Atlanta Jazz Festival, San Antonio, TXâs Riverwalk Jazz Festival, and theater and club dates coast-to-coast.
One night, when not on the road touring, Kilimanjaro members joined forces with veteran bluesman Big Joe Burrell to play a gig at iconic Burlington hotspot, âHuntsââ. The off-night "alter-ego" was soon called The Unknown Blues Band, and quickly grew into a constantly-working regional favorite. This tight, powerful unit made rabid converts everywhere they wentâ¦ whether touring the Soviet Union in November of 1991, performing at the Utrecht Blues Festival in Holland in 1995, or teaming up with blues greats W.C. Clark, Marva Wright or Kenny Neal for blues-fest throwdowns.
The bandâs second release, âKilimanjaro IIâ, rose to #5 in the national airplay charts, and led to several tours with Paul Butterfield in a dual roleâ¦ first opening up the show as Kilimanjaro, and then putting on their now-familiar âblues-band hatsâ to become the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Many more festival and theatre dates followed, including Copenhagenâs massive Roskilde Festival.
After 5 years of recording, performing and touring, drummer Bill Kinzie opted for a career change, and was replaced by Bob Harsen, and later, by Harry Thompson. Finally, in 1993, drummer Lucas Adler signed on, and has continued to occupy the drum chair to this day.
In 2005, Burlingtonâs FlynnCentre chose to honor Kilimanjaro with a grant for creation of new compositions, which were debuted in a concert at the June â06 Discover Jazz Festival. The concert was a great success, resulting in a 2nd show, and catalyzed a recording plan which culminated in the release of the CD âHomecomingâ.
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