New! 2018 CD ~ Happenstance
‘Happenstance’ by definition means a fortuitous coincidence; an unusually good event that arises by chance. Jeff Fuller & Friends is made up of Jeff Fuller on bass, Darren Litzie on piano, and Ben Bilello on drums. The classic jazz trio format gives rise to and makes room for many delightful moments of serendipitous exchange. In no small part this is due to listening – each member of the trio evidently hears the conversation as a whole while adding their own thoughts to the process. The result is an emotional, intelligent and lucid story that carries through from the first note to the last.
The songs are a mixture of original compositions by Jeff and Darren, as well as a couple of standards re-arranged in the trio’s unique style. “Happenstance,” the title tune, is offered twice: in a new instrumental version (it was included in the 2014 release “The Call From Within”), and in a vocal version featuring Connecticut’s outstanding young jazz vocalist, Atla DeChamplain, interpreting the fresh lyrics by vocalist Ellynne Rey.
Darren Litzie offers “Nice Try” which features drummer Ben Bilello, and a remarkable
update of “Cry Me A River.” Fuller’s newest compositions include “Will O’The Wisp,”
the beautiful ballad “See The Light,” and the powerful samba “Manhã de Primavera.” The beboppish “Upside Down” is one of his older compositions (1992).
A solo piano version of “Scorpio” is dedicated to Fuller’s mother, who was, of course, a Scorpio. When you throw in an Afro-Cuban version of Jerome Kern’s “All The Things You Are,” Fuller’s folksy “Grandstand” and the Brazilian “SambaNova,” you have a marvelous mixture of melodies, harmonies and rhythms – a potent setting for true improvisational happenstance.
“Jeff Fuller and his trio are absolutely “happenin’ ” on his newest recording, “Happenstance”. Each composition and arrangement is beautifully executed by the trio, with sophistication and modernism. Fuller’s bass lines, as always, are brilliantly crafted as well as his masterful soloing. Indeed, I thoroughly enjoyed this record! “ ~ Christian Sands, pianist, composer, Christian McBride.
“A wonderful new release with 4 remarkable musicians… should be part of your collection… a great compilation of original selections!”
~ Donn Trenner, pianist, conductor and arranger.
“Jeff’s really a powerful bass player… as strong, resourceful and inspiring, as ever.” ~ Ron McClure, bassist, Blood Sweat & Tears, Charles Lloyd.
2016 CD ~ Shoreline Blues
Shoreline Blues is the second release for Jeff Fuller & Friends, a trio made up of some of the most active and in-demand jazz musicians in the New England area. Fuller formed the trio late in 2014 with the sole purpose of performing original jazz compositions by members of the group. Fuller's eclectic compositions are again featured, along with two new tunes by pianist Darren Litzie and unaccompanied bass performances of Ornithology and Oleo. The concept of the group - and of their CDs - is to perform new, original music which infuses older jazz styles with contemporary creativity. The trio’s performances are marked by the deep improvisatory interaction of Fuller, Litzie and drummer Ben Bilello — an amazing testament to the amount of listening going on.
“The keen musicianship on display throughout is nearly flawless, both in each player’s proficiency on his instrument and in his chemistry with the other band members. The musicians’ skill is matched by an unfussy, crystal-clear production.” Brian Slattery, New Haven Independent.
2014 CD ~ The Call From Within
My first CD of all original music - The Call From Within - is available on CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes. Also, you may order it from me! Of course, we will be selling it at live gigs. Visit Performances for a listing of current gigs where I will have the CD available.
Gigs in the not-too-future!
Mon. Oct 28th, 8pm, Hartford Jazz Orchestra, plays my chart.
Sun. Nov. 3, NMS Premier Jazz, CT Compassion Club, Pine Orchard.
Sun., Nov. 10th, Ayuthai, Guilford with Dr. Joe Cardinale.
Sat., Nov 16th, Jeff Fuller & Friends, Smokin' With Chris, 7 pm.
Sat. Dec. 21st, Jeff Fuller & Friends, Best Video, Hamden, 8 pm.
2014: Sambeleza ~ LIVE!
The new Sambeleza Live! CD is now available through our Sambeleza website – through CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.
Or you can pick it up at any of my gigs, or at Sambeleza’s.
The CD was recorded at Summer Solstice Samba (6/21/14), sponsored by WPKN and Voices Café at the Unitarian Church
in Westport. Joining me, Isabella Mendes and Joe Carter
were our fabulous friends and guest artists, Ali Ryerson on flute, Adriano Santos on drums and Ze Mauricio on percussion. Crackling good Brazilian jazz!
Photo by Ben Bilello
College teaching gig at Yale!
I'm proud to be in the 4th year teaching in the Yale Jazz Initiative, where I have been coaching Yale undergraduate jazz combos along with my esteemed colleague, Wayne Escoffery. It is a great pleasure to see students who entered the program at the onset making such great progress in the language of jazz!
Here is a link to the announcement from the Yale School of Music.
WNHH-FM video interview, March 27, 2019