At the age of 28, trumpeter Jay Phelps already has a broad range of musical experiences under his belt, including co-founding the award-winning jazz group Empirical. Releasing his debut album as a leader, Jay Walkin' (Specific Records, 2010), seems like a natural next step. But Phelps is clearly not a man to be rushed. The album title is not just a pun; it also reflects Phelps' considered and studious approach to his own personal musical development. He's a bright, engaging instrumentalist who is constantly searching for more and more musical experiences to help in his development as a player. And he's strong-willed and independent enough to know how to pace it.
That future looks bright for the Canadian-born musician who, at the age of 17, moved to London from his home in Vancouver. That's a big move for a teenager, and perhaps a slightly unusual one for a jazz-loving Canadian. New York, or perhaps Los Angeles, seems like a more logical place to go, but the move wasn't simply to experience more jazz. Phelps explains: First and foremost, my mother came to England after marrying a trombone playerDennis Rollins. He's my stepfather. So at 17, I thought it would be a wise move to come to England and check out the scene." When asked if he came to London with his mother, Phelps laughs, Yes. I still needed my mama's bosom." Indeed, although Phelps' ideas about jazz and his own development clearly come from some serious consideration, he is also self-effacing and quick to see the funny side of things.
All About Jazz contributor Bruce Lindsay spoke with Phelps recently, about his musical upbringing and education, and more importantly, where those years of hard work have finally taken him, as he begins to realize the fruits of his labor as both a leader and a valued member of projects by artists including Courtney Pine, Ska Cubano and the Jazz Warriors. Read about all this and more in Bruce's extensive interview, Jay Phelps: Swing Is The New Avant-Garde, published today at All About Jazz.
You can also read Bruce's insightful CD Review of Phelps' latest release, Jay Walkin' (Specific Jazz, 2010), also published today at All About Jazz.
All About Jazz is committed to bringing you the most in-depth coverage available, surrounding new releases from established and up-and-coming artists, so be sure to check out all the buzz about Jay Phelps and Jay Walkin' at All About Jazz today!
- Jay Walkin' by Bruce Lindsay
InterviewsMore articles about Jay Phelps