PETE LEVIN piano, organ
TONY LEVIN upright bass, cello
ERIK LAWRENCE sax, flute
JEFF SIEGEL drums
“We grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, where we were trained in Classical music from a young age. But we also loved the 1950′s recordings by jazz bassist Oscar Pettiford and jazz French horn player Julius Watkins; and those have remained influential, even as we went on to other playing. The catchy melodies, deep grooves, and tight solos made that music memorable, and it’s been percolating for years for us to do an album of our own in that style.
“The two of us have crossed musical paths many times over the last decades, having toured together with Paul Simon, and played in each others groups and albums; but we’ve never done a Levin Brothers album ’til now, and it’s pretty special for us.
“After writing material for it over the last few years, we invited outstanding players familiar with the musical territory to join in – guitaristDavid Spinozza, sax player Erik Lawrence and drummer Jeff “Siege” Siegel. Steve Gadd appears as a special guest on the album, playing drums on two songs, “Bassics” and “Fishy Takes A Walk.” (* Tony and Steve’s history dates back to their days in school together, followed by a lot of albums and tours.)
“The sessions took place at Scott Petito’s NRS Studio, in the Woodstock area where we live. The material is all our own, all new compositions except the lovely King Crimson song, “Matte Kudasai.”Because we kept the songs short, there was room for a lot of material on this release; the CD has 14 tracks plus 2 exclusive bonus tracks.
“Another long time wish that’s come true with this release – a vinyl LP version of the music. We’re told that ‘Vinyl is coming back’ and we’re ready for that. In pre-orders, we’re offering a special limited edition LP (1,000) with unique colored vinyl, each signed and numbered by us. The LP has 12 tracks, with a card enclosed to digitally download the CD’s 14 tracks. We’ll also be autographing the first 1,000 CD’s ordered.
“And, to show our appreciation for the support by those of you who help us out by pre-ordering, we’ve asked our friends at Lazy Bones Recordings to share an extra download track with everyone as those pre-orders come in. It’s titled “Azalea” a beautiful song recorded for the project that doesn’t appear anywhere else.”
Tony & Pete Levin
Since graduating from the Eastman School of music, Tony Levin has become the bass and Chapman Stick voice for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. In addition, he has played on notable recordings for John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Dire Straits, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, and many others. Tony has major jazz credentials, having worked with Buddy Rich, Steps Ahead, L’Image, Gary Burton, Chuck Mangione, and Herbie Mann. He currently records and tours with Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Stick Men, and The Crimson ProjeKCt.
As a French Horn major, Pete Levin earned a master’s degree from the Juilliard School. In the early ‘70s he switched to keyboards, becoming a synthesizer specialist in the New York City recording studio scene. Over the years, he has graced hundreds of jazz and pop recordings and performances by the likes of Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Jimmy Giuffre, Dave Brubeck, David Sanborn, Joe Louis Walker, Don Elliott, Freddie Hubbard, Annie Lennox, Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius and Wayne Shorter. He currently records with his organ trio with Dave Stryker and Lenny White.
Drummer/Composer Jeff Siegel is a veteran of the New York Jazz Scene and has worked with a virtual who’s-who of jazz artists. A member of Sir Roland Hanna’s Trio from 1994-99, Jeff has performed and recorded with jazz legends including Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Jack DeJohnette, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Helen Merrill and Mose Allison.
The son of jazz saxophonist and rock guru Arnie Lawrence, Erik Lawrence is a longtime member of Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band. His innovative band “Hipmotism” features Sex Mob’s slide trumpet player Steven Bernstein. Equally proficient on flute and saxophone, Erik’s career as a sideman has included work with Buddy Miles, Chico Hamilton, Joan Osborne, The Spin Doctors and master Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog.