Skerik is one of a rare breed. A catalyst whose considerable talent and infectious enthusiasm keeps the stew brewin'. Says producer and bandleader Dan Prothero, "I heard Skerik blow three notes, I mean his first three notes, and I knew he was something special. And, believe me, the band heard it too. You never saw musicians come to life so fast, amazed at this guy who was just sitting in. That really was my inspiration for putting this group together." Sounds like the makings of a new legend...The initial rhythm section combined the best of the Bay Area. Local drum phenom Guy Gershoni (on loan from local heroes Slide Five) melds his knowledge and appreciation of all branches of the jazz family tree with a groovy feel all his own. A real soul drummer. Jon Evans was a regular on the San Francisco straight ahead jazz circuit thanks to his upright bass chops (and is now on tour with Tori Amos), but with these cats he really lets the funk flow. Also visiting from Slide Five is Dave Warrin, who provides some soulful keyboard support (when Skerik is occupied with his horn). The first result of this collaboration was the single Sole Food (Ubiquity UR12004), a nutritious serving of all-the-way-live street jazz that'll warm your heart (and wear out your soles, get it?). The release was the lead-off single for Is That Jazz?, released in April 1995. With Slide Five moving to New York City to record their own debut album, some personnel adjustments were necessary. The current New Legends lineup still includes Skerik and Jon, and adds East Bay drummer William Allums, Jr. (whose tight snare/hi hat work is classic jazz-funk) and keyboard virtuoso Dave Palmer (who records and travels with MC 900 Foot Jesus and Chris Isaac when he's not down in San Francisco). Of their future plans, Dan says "New Legends will be a forum for emerging West Coast talent. The lineup will be somewhat fluid, to allow other talented individuals the chance to be heard, and to make way for collaborations with older musical legends that are in the works."
UPDATE 9/16/97: New Legends has now been re-named KING KOOKER. We have MANY MANY tracks in the can from these guys, and will be releasing them soon... watch for the 16 minute epic funk bomb "HE KOOKER", which should be appearing on an upcoming Fog City Records compilation.
" The most satisfying compilation I've discovered is Is That Jazz? (Ubiquity), a collection that reveals just how much creativity can be unleashed within a limiting formula. High points include a soulful fusion workout by the New Legends, a quartet whose saxophonist, Nalgas Sincarne, sounds like a young Archie Shepp. "
" Brand new jazz dance classic "
For help on playing back these excerpts on your computer, click here.
New Legends rocked the Ubiquity night at the last San Francisco Jazz Festival (August 24, 1995). Some cool shots:
Need to know more? Some of the New Legends tracks have been released on the Ubiquity Recordings label. For information on where to find these releases, click here. A compilation is planned for release on Fog City Records in the near future. It will feature several tracks from the New Legends recording sessions. Click here to join our mailing list; we'll be sure to tell you when we have a release date.