Troy Chapman Group Combines CD Release with Season’s First ‘Local Artists Series’ Concert

Posted in More Stories, Music, Spotlight

BY RUSSELL CLEPPER
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
February 26, 2014

The Troy Chapman Group will officially release its new CD, “Time and the Hours,” at a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 7 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. The CD consists of nine of Chapman’s original compositions and is represents the passing of one full day—sunrise to sunrise. The concert is the first in the 2014 edition of WICA’s “Local Artists Series.”

The new release “hearkens back to the way we grew up listening to music,” Chapman said, speaking of how people once listened to CDs as whole works. “It’s a suite of music that’s made to be listened to [from] beginning to end.”

Drummer Scott Small lays down some beats at a recent rehearsal at his Lakeside Percussion Studio.

Drummer Scott Small lays down some beats at a recent rehearsal at his Lakeside Percussion Studio.

Drawing on multiple genres and sources that Chapman has loved and studied throughout his life, the music on this CD uses a jazz foundation to fashion a vessel, expertly crafted to explore the subject at hand. From the opening notes of the CD’s first song, “Tango de la Vie,” Chapman takes listeners on a musical chronicle of a single day in time.

Drummer Scott Small and bassist Jonathan Small will join Chapman to complete the trio that forms the vessel’s crew. Both musicians bring deep wells of experience and skill to support Chapman’s master-level guitar work and fine compositional talent. Chapman will further expand the trio’s sonic impact using an array of electronic mediums. The resulting layers of background beats and loops serve to enhance the expressive acoustic performances of the trio, which features generous doses of bass and drum solos.

All the diverse components create a gestalt that places the listener at the center of an ever-evolving sonic panorama of mythic shape and sometimes exotic proportion—a musical story unfolding and expanding through the day’s journey to the final strains of “Turkish Morning,” the second sunrise. The listener rides along, sometimes floating, sometimes shooting through musical passages that evoke a wide range of emotional shades from ominous mystery to light-hearted joie de vivre.

Although the overall musical bent of the music is towards jazz, Chapman said, “I want everyone to know that this is not Django jazz.”

That clarification may be necessary since he’s one of the Puget Sound area’s foremost interpreters of that particular genre of music. He is a member of the widely acclaimed Seattle band “Pearl Django.” Plus, he founded the Whidbey Island gypsy jazz group “Billet-Deux” and performs regularly at Langley’s DjangoFest.

Troy Chapman, bandleader and songwriter for the Troy Chapman Group.

Troy Chapman, bandleader and songwriter for the Troy Chapman Group.

However, over the 30-year span of his career, he has studied and performed a variety of musical styles since his days as a student at Concordia University in Montreal and the American Academy of Music in Chicago. Though there is a bit of the Django style in some of the songs on “Time and the Hours,” there are also many other influences, including other forms of jazz, pop, rock and traditional styles from other countries.

Scott Small has more experience in more musical styles than the average hep cat could fit into nine lives, with accomplishments that include chairing jazz ensembles at various Puget Sound area universities and doing a stint with Kenny G back in the ’70’s. He currently gigs with the “Eastside Modern Jazz Orchestra,” “Bahia,” “Ruzivo” and the “South Whidbey Jazz Collective.” Small also teaches at Click Music in Oak Harbor, as well as his Lakeside Percussion Studio.

Ace bassist Jon Small smiles as his father, Scott, looks on in the background.  (Photo by David Welton)

Ace bassist Jon Small smiles as his father, Scott, looks on in the background. (Photo by David Welton)

Jonathan Small is barely four years out of Sammamish High School but he has already toured overseas and has become one of the first-call bassists for a number of jazz ensembles around the Puget Sound. He plays everything from classical to classic rock, from grindcore metal to country, from bebop to fusion jazz, from blues to latin jazz and it doesn’t end there. There is no piece of real estate on an upright or bass guitar that he hasn’t visited countless times as an emissary of myriad musical regimes. Small is currently a senior at Cornish College of the Arts.

Tickets for this event are $17 youth and $20 adult and can be purchased online at tickets.wicaonline.com or through the WICA box office. During the 24 hours prior to the show, tickets may be purchased through the box office only. Please call the WICA Box Office at 800.638.7631 or 360.221.8268.

For more information about “Time and the Hours,” please visit Troy Chapman’s website at http://www.troychapman.com/new-album.

Photo at the top: Troy Chapman (photo by David Welton)

Russell Clepper is a singer-songwriter who plies his trade locally and around the country. He also is a substitute teacher for the Oak Harbor School District.

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