MP3 The Jack Furlong Quartet - A Jazzebration!
This jazz ranges from bop to cool to funk to modern, but continually comes back to one idea: Stephen Colbert is the man.
5 MP3 Songs in this album (26:47) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Cool Jazz, JAZZ: Chamber Jazz
People who are interested in Miles Davis Gerry Mulligan Bill Evans should consider this download.
The Jack Furlong Quartet (JFQ) performs classic jazz charts as well as their own original compositions. Although traditional in its approach, this synthesis of old and new has served the JFQ well, and in many ways reflects the current course of mainstream jazz.
The group is led by Jack Furlong, a graduate of Lafayette College with a B.A. in Music. Furlong began his musical career playing the alto sax. Over time, he moved to the tenor sax, and finally to the baritone sax. “Saxophonists are trying to make their way on the soprano, alto, or tenor sax,” notes Furlong. “But who among them really take the time to play the bari sax? There were very few in history, and there are very few now.” He continues, “People who play soprano, alto, and tenor are mimicking Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, who were known for their speed around the horn. But that’s not what the baritone is about. The greats on the baritone, like Gerry Mulligan and Pepper Adams, were known for their clearer, more deliberate melodic ideas and compositions, rather than their ability to push buttons at the speed of light. That’s why I love the baritone so much.”
Furlong honed his chops performing in the Lafayette College Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, as well as participating in other musical ensembles and activities. Furlong also began composing for big band and small ensembles. After graduation, he became the Assistant Director for the Lafayette College Jazz Ensemble and worked for both the Music Department and the Religious Life Department at Lafayette. Furlong is currently working on his Masters in Music at William Paterson University, concentrating on jazz composition and arranging.
Furlong’s compositions and arrangements are influenced by standards and contemporary music alike, noting, “I enjoy playing standards just as the greats played them, like the original Miles recording of ‘Bye Bye Blackbird.’” But Furlong also plays classic jazz charts with a twist, as heard in the quartet’s reworking of tunes like Coltrane’s “Impressions,” Monk’s “Blue Monk,” and Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil.”
Furlong also incorporates elements of what he calls “programmatic music.” He explains: “I’m interested in music written for movies and video games. It helps create a mood or emotion in a way that jazz does as well, and it’s part of contemporary mainstream pop culture.” Furlong particularly enjoys music from the James Bond franchise, and is influenced by the greats like John Barry and Monty Norman from the older 007 flicks, and more recently, Bill Conti and David Arnold. Furlong also explores the classic video game music of Koji Kondo (who is best known for his compositions for the games “Super Mario Bros.” and “The Legend Of Zelda”) in his charts and solos.
Though Furlong continues to compose for big band and small ensemble, teach private music lessons, and pursue his Masters degree, his main focus is performing with the JFQ. The group features Sean Gough on piano, Pat Kelley on upright bass, and John O’Keefe on drums. Others are occasionally brought in for gigs, but these four are the core of the JFQ sound.
Sean Gough has been playing piano most of his life. Trained from the get-go in the European classical repertoire, as well as jazz harmony and
improvisation, it was Sean''s relatively recent exposure to ensemble jazz which
has led him to focus his attention in that area. Although his style is still
forming, Sean hopes that his wonderful teachers John Colaiacovo and Skip
Wilkins, and the jazz legends to whom all contemporary musicians are indebted
– Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, and Thelonious Monk, in particular – have left
their mark on his playing. Accordingly, his approach to piano is soft and
light when it needs to be, but opens up to full, wide comping and driving,
intricate solos. He’s not afraid to stretch the limits of his instrument or to
bring it back to basics. Sean works frequently with The Jack Furlong Quartet,
in a trio setting with the Ojespa Jazz Project, and as accompanist for
instrumentalists, vocalists, and ensembles in various genres. He also studies
classical piano with Alexis Fisher, and recently took courses in world music
and composition, premiering several original pieces.
Pat Kelley has been working the bass for over 6 years. His influences range from contemporary rock musicians like Sufjan Stevens and Frank Zappa to 20th Century classical composers like Bela Bartok and Karlheinz Stockhausen. With his broad knowledge of rock, pop, and classical music, Kelley has quickly developed into a dynamic and intuitive jazz bassist. His study with Tom DiCarlo and Paul Rostock, his time listening to groups from the MJQ to the Bad Plus, and his admiration for late giants Paul Chambers and Charles Mingus and living luminaries like Reid Anderson, Charlie Haden, and Eddie Gomez, have no doubt propelled his rapid development as well. When he’s not composing and playing music with his original rock group, The HANS, Kelley can be found performing in The Jack Furlong Quartet, the Ojespa Jazz Project, the Lafayette College Jazz Ensemble, and Orange Claude, another jazz trio, featuring pianist Tom DiGiovanni and drummer John O’Keefe.
John O’Keefe has been playing jazz drums for over 15 years, and has worked with such greats as Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles, Wycliffe Gordon, and Nat Reeves, to name a few. A studio musician, composer, drummer and percussionist, he’s played in NYC clubs like Smalls, Carpo’s, Zinc, and the Village Vanguard, as well as Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus and Chris’s Jazz Café in Philadelphia. Heavily influenced by the complex drumming of Elvin Jones and David King as well as the rock-solid approach of Art Blakey and Philly Joe Jones, he brings a steady rhythmic engine to any group, driving the music forward while adding interesting polyrhythm. O’Keefe’s expertise as a sound engineer has also led to many projects recording local jazz musicians.
The JFQ plays gigs throughout the Philadelphia and New York City Metro areas, focused mainly in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Whether in a jazz club, bar, or coffee house, they delight audiences with their style, levity and wit. Now, with their new album, A Jazzebration, recorded in September 2007, the JFQ is primed and ready to bring their music to your venue. Performing jazz favorites and originals with a contemporary feel, the JFQ is a messenger for jazz past and jazz still to come.