Chicago Vocalist And Trumpeter Andrew Distel Releases "It Only Takes Time," January 20, 2018 On Jerujazz Records


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It is this glorious voice which holds the attention and makes a huge impression here, from start to finish… We may well have just found ‘the next big thing’ in male jazz singers. Chicago’s best kept secret is out.
Andrew Distel
There’s something of a tradition of trumpet players who are also singers. Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Till Bronner and Jack Sheldon are certainly among the best known of the lot, but there are quite a few others, including Andrew Distel, a mainstay on the Chicago jazz scene. The multi-talented singer, trumpet player, composer, and arranger releases his second CD, It Only Takes Time. Although Distel plays trumpet on several tunes, the CD is a showcase for his modern vocal stylings. With his crystal clear vocals and flawless delivery that bring to mind Kenny Rankin and Michael Bublé, he has been a popular, in-demand performer as a leader and a sideman in all the major clubs in and around Chicago.

Distel released his first CD, Stepping Out of a Dream, in 2007, enlisting some of the same musicians for this project. George Fludas is a first-call drummer in Chicago. He and Distel became friends and musical compatriots when they performed together every weekend for four years at the renowned Pump Room. He worked with Distel to get this project off the ground, helping him assemble the band and the material. The first two musicians they brought on board were two acclaimed instrumentalists, Peter Martin and Carlos Henriquez. Martin is an esteemed pianist who, among his many accomplishments, performed on and arranged Diane Reeves’s Grammy winning CD, Good Night and Good Luck, the soundtrack to the George Clooney film. Enriquez is a highly respected bassist who performs with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Chicago is rife with gifted jazz players, and Distel recruited some of the top players in the region, including trumpet player Brian Schwab. Schwab, who is also a top-notch mixing and mastering engineer, co-produced this CD with Bob Bowker, who produced the vocals. Bowker is the founding artistic director of the Lakeside Singers, and he’s worked with dozens of jazz, classical, and pop singers such as Beverly Sills and Barbra Streisand. Added to the mix are Jim Gailloreto, who wrote the string arrangements for Kurt Elling’s Grammy winning CD, Dedicated To You, who plays woodwinds and wrote the string arrangements and a three-horn arrangement for Distel; Howard Levy on harmonica is one of the founding members of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; guitarist Dave Onderdonk began his career as a classical guitarist before switching to jazz over 30 years ago and has since played with Kurt Elling, Cassandra Wilson and many other jazz luminaries; Brazilian percussionist Geraldo de Oliveira, who has the distinction of being a guest artist on the last album recorded by Buddy Rich; and in-demand trombonist Raphael Crawford. Distel is also accompanied by a large, virtuoso string section.

Distel composed two of the songs on this CD, “Wait for Me” and “Your Last Song,” a blues based on the Kenny Dorham tune “Blue Spring Shuffle.” Featuring lyrics by J. Adams Oaks, Distel’s writing partner, these songs are worthy of being included in the Great American Songbook. Distel’s trumpet playing can be heard on several tunes, including “Speak Low,” “Wait for Me,” “Your Last Song,” and “Too Soon to Tell,” the Bonnie Raitt tune performed here as a slow ballad with a lush string accompaniment.

Distel opens the CD with “One Morningstar Away,” a fairly obscure tune that he came across on YouTube. Martin’s piano solo on this tune is luxuriant and emotive. Distel chose “Alfie” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” two older pop tunes re-arranged with a jazz sensibility, as a nod to his parents’ musical tastes. He changes pace with “Amor” by Ivan Lins, singing in the original Portuguese, accompanied by Onderdonk’s nylon string guitar and the full 12-piece string section. Distel scats over the changes of a fast, swinging version of the Gershwin tune “Who Cares.” He slows it down a bit with “Into Each Life,” a medium tempo swing number featuring Levy on guitar. Distel ends the CD with an intimate version of Dave Frishberg’s “You Are There,” featuring Distel with only Martin’s piano accompaniment.

Andrew Distel is a singer with an instrumentalist’s sensibilities. A superb improviser, he tells the story of a song with straight- ahead honesty and an inviting vocal quality filled with compelling tonal colors and emotive phrasing. It Only Takes Time is the successful next step in the musical evolution of an inspired artist.

About Andrew Distel

Andrew Distel is a native of Cincinnati, and music has been part of his life for about as long as he can remember. Both his parents are educators and music lovers, and they encouraged their four sons to learn a musical instrument. Andrew, however, was the only one of the Distel brothers who had an abiding interest in music and taught himself to play his brother’s trumpet by imitating Chuck Mangione records. His music journey began in earnest in 5th grade when he joined the school band and started taking private music lessons. He continued his music studies and played trumpet in various bands throughout his years in public school, but singing was also a passion of his, and he found the time to sing in several choirs as well.

Distel began gigging in clubs as a trumpet player, vocalist, and bandleader while attending the prestigious College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. After graduating, he moved to Chicago in 2000 to continue his education at Roosevelt University. It didn’t take long for him to build a solid reputation as a talented trumpeter and an exciting, new male jazz voice.

It Only Takes Time will be available in stores and online everywhere on January 20, 2018.

Andrew Distel at Soundcloud.

This story appears courtesy of Mouthpiece Music.
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