WHAT: A live concert performance and album launch party to support the national release of Leighton's Back To The Funk, which just arrived in record stores on the Pacific Coast Jazz record label.
WHEN: Sunday, April 2, 4 - 7 pm PT
WHERE: Humphrey's Back Stage Lounge, Shelter Island, San Diego
DETAILS: Alto flutist Leighton fondly recalls the halcyon days of groove-heavy jazz-funk with a modern edge on Back to the Funk. The album, his third, features booty-shaking funk, seductive R&B, chill jazz nuances, and lilting pop hooks produced by Allan Phillips. Presently gaining radio airplay is Runaway," a driving feel-good joint boasting a full horn section and a fiery exchange between Leighton's scorching alto flute and a sweaty, bellowing sax.
Having released two critically-acclaimed albums that delved into straight-ahead jazz with occasional splashes of Latin rhythms or R&B grooves, Leighton wanted to fully indulge his passion for jazz-funk. He co-penned five tracks for Back to the Funk that belies some of his musical influences: the Brecker Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Tower of Power. Leighton also set out to prove that in the contemporary jazz world dominated by guitars and saxes, the flute can also be soulful and funky. His alto flute gracefully leaps above the muscular horn arrangements and rhythmic R&B base to deliver eloquent jazz-pop statements. In addition to the original material, the artist covers classics by Stevie Wonder, Bread, and Ray, Goodman & Brown. Real guitar, piano, bass, drums, sax, trumpet and trombone give the album production a live, organic sound. To bring the album to life at this concert event, Leighton will be backed by a talented group of local jazz-funk musicians.
Leighton debuted in 2003 with a collection of jazz standards on the Groove Yard CD. Last year's Just Doin' Our Thang straddles the line between traditional and contemporary jazz. It consists of fresh interpretations of standards along with four original compositions that find Leighton backed by a Hammond B3 organ trio. The album was hailed by such respected outlets as JazzTimes, Audiophile, All About Jazz, All Music Guide, and the San Diego Reader and was nominated for Best Jazz Album of the Year" by the San Diego Music Awards.