**THE SWITCH HITTERS**
NIGEL HALL [Bass & Vocals-LETTUCE]
ROBERT SPUT [Drums-SNARKY PUPPY/GHOST NOTE]
NATE WERTH [Percussion-SNARKY PUPPY/GHOST NOTE]
WIL BLADES [B3-DR.LONNIE SMITH]
Soul provider Nigel Hall is in many ways an artist who needs no introduction. An in-demand sideman, he’s built a mighty foundation of funk over the years onstage and in the studio with collaborators including the Warren Haynes Band, Jon Cleary, Soulive, Oteil Burbridge and Roosevelt Collier, Ledisi, the Soul Rebels, Lettuce and countless others. Legions of fans are already well in the know about Hall’s copious keyboard chops and powerful vocal style. But even to them, his Feel Music/Round Hill debut solo album will be a revelation – a confirmation that Hall has stepped out front and center into a creative space to call his own.
After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy® awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.”
As the undeniable secret weapon of Snarky Puppy, Nate Werth is both rooted in tradition and constantly innovating in the percussion world. His creative approach to sonic possibilities and rhythmic interplay has been integral to the sound of the group, and has earned the respect and support of percussion big-wigs like LP founder Martin Cohen. Performing and recording credits include Myron Butler & Levi, The Lee Boys, Jovino Santos Neto, Michael Spiro, Eric Krasno's Chapter 2, and many more. Having studied Indian, African, and Latin American traditions extensively abroad, Nate brings a unique sound palette to every musical environment. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and plays regularly on the NYC and DFW music scene.
No less a jazz organ authority than the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith has called Wil Blades “the future,” anointing him the heir apparent to “carry on the legend [and] the legacy of the organ, of the B-3.” Blades shoulders that responsibility with nonchalant virtuosity and infectious groove on his second recording, Field Notes (out August 19 from The Royal Potato Family). The album’s nine songs report back from the rich incubator that is the road, with pieces written from snippets recorded at soundchecks, gigs and jam sessions—field recordings of the jazz trio in its natural habitat. On his first full trio outing, Blades is joined by guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Joey DeFrancesco, Joshua Redman) and drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard), both musicians who share Blades’ grounding in tradition and urge to push it forward.
**TIM MARCONETT GROUP**