Most of the basis for the sextet's music lies in traditional jazz. But the group prides itself in creating and performing great music regardless of jazz style. From the traditional styles of originals "Halfway Out" and "Billy or Bud" to the modernized arrangements of classics "If I Only Had a Brain" and "Softly As a Morning Sunrise," The Phoenix Jazz Project provides a wide variety of entertaining music. Having only been in existence for a handful of years, The Phoenix Jazz Project has already wowed audiences from Pittsburgh to Prague. A June 2005 tour to Eastern Europe including Budapest's Cotton Club and Vienna's Jazzland produced standing ovations and rave reviews. That tour also included stops in Prague, Czech Republic, Brataslava, Slovakia and Krakow, Poland where the band performed and conducted clinics. A December 2005 tour to Belgium yielded more performances, clinics, and standing ovations. And our 2008 and 2009 tour to Russia was meet with full houses and rave reviews. This new Pittsburgh band already has the locals raving about their "New York Sound." Their current project has pianist/composer/arranger Thomas Glovier writing and arranging classics for a collaboration CD with The Traverser Saxophone Quartet IS NOW AVAILABLE.
With influences ranging from Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner & Keith Jarrett (pianist, Tom Glovier); to John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, & Earth Wind and Fire (saxophonist, Curtis Johnson); to Eric Dolphy and Charlie Parker (saxophonist, Mike Sakash); to Tierney Sutton, Ella Fitzgerald, Dianne Reeves & Kim Nazarian (vocalist, Jessie Glovier), The Phoenix Jazz Project performs its material with excellence. Jason Birch (drums) and Bob Insko (bass) provide a fresh, creative approach that is the perfect compliment to the rest of the group.
"REAL arrangements played by a REAL ensemble------REAL music that requires active listening!! This project is a true musical dialogue between a sax quartet, piano features and vocal highlights. It's a swingin' showcase of classic jazz standards treated with sophistication------mature tempos, a variety of styles, and dynamic range. This CD is a creative treasure of riches--------Enjoy the honesty, attitude and fun of Phoenix!....."
2 time Grammy Award Winner
and founding member of NY Voices
"When Lights Are Low," the latest album by The Phoenix Jazz Project, reaches well beyond its roots of jazz/big band styles. One may consider jazz to be one of the most technically challenging styles of music, but this group has cohesively crafted the art. The chemistry between the musicians is unbelievably tight and consistent. One such example of this bond is the sax quartet interpreting the harmonies through a series of voicings on "I Mean You." Listeners will hear outstanding vocals, as they are polished and demonstrate maturity while never faltering on these complex melodies. The piano gracefully glides across the ivories with a true jazz feel on "Oncallogy," while a smooth swing tempo is performed with soft brushes on the drums and a silky walking bass line. Fans of Count Basie, Cannonball Adderley, or modern big band sounds will really enjoy The Phoenix Jazz Project's refreshing jazz album "When Lights Are Low."
-- Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
"The Phoenix Jazz Project can do what so many jazz bands can't. It can give an all-too-familiar song new life. On "When Lights Are Low," the Pittsburgh-area band even successfully tackles one of the most difficult covers in jazz: "Blue in Green." Miles Davis' original version of that song still is, and probably will ever be, the best. But the Project, led by pianist Tom Glovier and his wife, Jessie, does a version that stays true to the haunting beauty while also adding something else -- saxophone lines by Traverser Saxophone Quartet. Jessie Glovier's voice sometimes sounds like an imitation of Miles' muted horn. The Project and the saxes also do a great job on Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You" while Jessie Glovier takes her voice in a completely different direction on "Never Will I Marry." Besides doing such works, the title track and "Tenderly," the crew also offers "Oncallogy" by Tom Glovier and "Dialogue" by saxophonist Mike Sakash. This is a total success."
-- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“This well-knit small band, dating back to 2004, reveals new dimensions in familiar material inventively arranged by co-founderTom Glovier, a pianist who hails from Observatory Hill. Heard too are impressive saxophonist Curtis Johnson and Glovier’s wife Jessie, a co-founder and singer. “When Lights Are Low” focuses on…the impressive Traverser Saxophone Quartet. If this CD gets around to the right ears and the right promoters, more much-merited light will shine on these musicians.”
--Gordon Spencer, Pittsburgh Magazine
Rise up and catch them if you can