Sweeter Than a Summer Breeze
Leroy Jones’ Lush New Album Features Romantic Ballads Perfect for the Times
During tough times there's nothing more important than love, relationships and romance – and New Orleans trumpet legend Leroy Jones has created the perfect soundtrack for the era with his latest release: "Sweeter Than A Summer Breeze".
Filled with lush strings and some of New Orleans' finest musicians, "Summer Breeze" shows Jones, the former trumpeter and vocalist in the Harry Connick Jr Orchestra, featuring the unparalleled beauty of his horn playing but also shows him in an entirely new light as a romantic balladeer and first rate arranger.
Arriving just in time for Valentine's Day,Sweeter Than a Summer Breeze features three new original compositions including the title song and "Katrina", Jones' take on the hurricane that caused so much devastation in his beloved hometown, plus eight other romantic standards like "In a Sentimental Mood", "My Funny Valentine" and "Stars Fell on Alabama".
"It feels like the right album for the times," says Jones, "an album for lovers and those looking to fall in love and that's something I think everybody can relate to in tough times like these."
While somewhat of a departure for Jones, who is widely regarded as one of the best and influential trumpeters Nola has ever produced and the keeper of the traditional New Orleans sounds, Sweeter Than a Summer Breeze showcases not just his virtuosity on the horn and his New Orleans roots, but his growing skills as an arranger including all strings, bass and drums.
And it's no accident that Jones is following in the footsteps of some of his favorite artists recording an album featuring strings.
"Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis – some of the jazz pioneers I admire most – did the same thing, always pushing themselves as artists," he says. "And that’s just what I am doing with "Summer Breeze."
A member of the New Orleans Jazz Hall of Fame, Jones was leader at the tender age of 12, of the seminal Fairview Band, a brass band whose alumni have included some of the best-known musicians in New Orleans. It was the Fairview Brass Band that is widely credited with restoring interest in the brass band tradition of New Orleans. Today, in fact, New Orleans has more brass bands performing than at any time in the city's history – an achievement that can be traced back directly to the Fairview Band and its successor the Leroy Jones Hurricane Brass Brand.
A regular performer at Preservation Hall in New Orleans and a featured performer in the Harry Connick Jr Orchestra, where his playing and singing have made him a crowd favorite, Leroy has performed on every continent and in every major U.S. city at prestigious theaters, festivals and jazz clubs like the Village Vanguard in New York City. His television appearances include The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show, Arsenio Hall, Conan O'Brien and Oprah Winfrey. He is also a regular at the world famous New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, as well as French Quarter Fest and the Satchmo Summerfest.
He has also appeared on the soundtrack of the smash hit movie "Sleepless in Seattle" starring actor Tom Hanks.
Leroy has also released a series of highly regarded CDs including "Props For Pops" his tribute to Louis Armstrong, "Back To My Roots", "Mo’ Cream From The Crop" and "Soft Shoe". He has appeared on numerous recordings with other artists such as Dr. John, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Anders Osborne, Chuck Carbo, Spirit of New Orleans, John Boutt, Lillian Boutt, Paul Sanchez, Danish Radio Big Band, Guillaume Nouaux and many, more others.
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