Remembranzas by the Roy McGrath Quartet <i> 2017 </i>

Remembranzas by the Roy McGrath Quartet 2017

Roy McGrath – Tenor Saxophone
Bill Cessna– Piano
Kitt Lyles – Upright Bass
Jonathon Wenzel – Drums and cymbals.

It can be argued that, while we go about life as an organic machine made of flesh and bone, our consciousness, what makes us human, is something else entirely. What is our consciousness if not a cumulative collection of constantly updated memories that have been organized in such a way as to advise us what to feel and do next?
Memory is subjective, and not necessarily entirely factual, a retelling of experience. While facts might be recalled incorrectly, memories are our truths, and ultimately the question becomes “What do I do with these things I know to be true?"
For Puerto Rico-born tenor saxophonist and composer Roy McGrath, the past is present in the form of these memories. This music honors that past, yet also provides a signpost for the future. The eight compositions that make up this album were written and arranged for this particular band of musicians, and they represent a very specific and personal truth that fully came into existence in the recording studio.
Remembranza is a Spanish word that can be used multiple ways. A remembranza can be a memory or even a flashback. It is a point in the past that is deeply rooted in one’s consciousness because of the powerful feelings that were evoked at the time of its creation.
And, of course, new remembranzas are being created all the time.
At the core of this album are four tunes written with a very specific purpose. McGrath was commissioned in 2015 by the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center in Chicago to compose a Afro-Caribbean jazz suite honoring revered Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. What eventually emerged out of Julia al Son de Jazz, as the project was called, were four compositions. Two were loosely based on her poems and two sought to capture something about who Burgos was and how she lived her life.
As 2015 turned into ’16 & ’17, McGrath worked with several musicians, eventually finding the exact people to help him realize the form that the Julia songs would take. The remaining tracks each relate to a memory from McGrath’s life, both in Puerto Rico and the U.S., where he has resided since 2007. They have to do with the very stuff of life: family, relationships, creation, and identity. These may be specific memories from McGrath’s life, but their themes resonate with universal human experience.
They include the title track which, in a way, touches on all four. This quartet (bassist Kitt Lyles, drummer Jonathan Wenzel, and pianist Bill Cessna), in fact, inspired the idea of a remembranza as a theme to build the album around, up to and including the process of creating it.
Though a memory can be fleeting, there will always be this work that lights and keeps present this remembranza.
Taken together, they are a portrait not of the past, but of a very real present that each and every memory led to, and the creation of this album is the newest powerful Remembranza that McGrath and his quartet carry with them.
 Martha by the Roy McGrath Quartet <i> 2014 </i>

Martha by the Roy McGrath Quartet 2014

Roy McGrath – Tenor Saxophone
Joaquin Garcia– Piano
Kitt Lyles – Upright Bass
Gustavo Cortiñas – Drums and cymbals.

“Martha" by the Roy McGrath Quartet is a series of eight compositions that encompass a homage to family, friends, and the human connection. Three arrangements and five originals pieces that reflect all ambits of relationships: healing, love, loss, dishonor, spirituality, gratitude, and others. Through these eight compositions I attempt to portray in sound the last four years of my life.
The album is dedicated to my grandmother, Martha Albelo whom was an amazing influence on my character and person.

Recorded at StudioMedia Recording Company (Chicago, IL)
August 25-26, 2014

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Scott Steinman
Assistant Engineer: Kelsey Wild

Physical Copies:
Gustavo Cortiñas<i> Snapshot "Esse" <i> 2017

Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot "Esse" 2017

Fusing two of his loves - music and philosophy - drummer Gustavo Cortiñas gathers fellow musicians from his adopted home of Chicago to contemplate, through composition and improvisation, the relationship between essence and being. Inspired by the ongoing dialogue of some of the most brilliant minds in western philosophy, Gustavo composed music to illustrate their concepts of 'being' and the effect those thoughts had on the formation of metaphysical, ethical, and moral theories.

Justin Copeland - trumpet
Roy McGrath - tenor sax (2,6,7,9,10)
Artie Black - tenor sax (1,3,4,5,8)
Adam Thornburg - trombone
Hans Luchs - guitar
Joaqu'n Garc'a - piano
Kitt Lyles - bass
Gustavo Cortiñas - drums & cymbals
<i>Real Talk by the Kitt Lyles' Sextet <i>

Real Talk by the Kitt Lyles' Sextet

Justin Copeland- trumpet
Roy McGrath- tenor sax
Hans Luchs- guitar
Joaquin Garcia- piano
Kitt Lyles- bass
Gustavo Cortiñas- drums
Rajiv Halim- alto sax tracks 1, 3

Album Notes
Real Talk is an album about many things. Born of separation from home, love lost, and love cherished, it is about knowing that something greater exists, and refusing to stop following the little bit of proof you have of it. It is about remembering the times you believed. It is about believing even after losing the desire to. It is about the lovely warmth of nostalgia and the bitterness of the present moment. It is about determination, persistence, and resilience. It is about the wonder whispered by a quiet river, and the dullness in the long hours spent waiting for salvation to make its appearance. This album is about many things, but really it is about many fleeting truths. That slip away into the glimmer of light in the corner of your eye. Or a glimmer of understanding. Imperfections and impurities; beauty in tradition, and beauty in invention, and balancing these two, these three, these ten. Finding a way to capture the impossible, and then will that impossibility into existence. Roots and visions, Real Talk. All in the hope that at the dawn of our evening, we may define ourselves not by what we have been, but by what we can be.
<i> Funky Hot Grits: The Runaround <i> 2014

Funky Hot Grits: The Runaround 2014

Funky Hot Grits is an eclectic soul band based in Chicago. We draw inspiration from musical traditions along the Mississippi and her tributaries - Memphis soul, New Orleans Funk, Chicago rhythm and blues - to create a fresh cohesive voice.

Garrett Boileve - mic/keys
Sam Schiller - drums
Nathan Green - guitar
Kitt Lyles - bass
Roy McGrath - Tenor Saxophone
Justin Copeland - Trumpet
Michael Nearpass - Trombone
Sasha Bayan: Do I Know You? <i> 2014  </i>

Sasha Bayan: Do I Know You? 2014

Do I Know You?
40+ instruments, 35 musicians, 9 songs, 1 vision.

An overwhelming desire to create overtook Sasha during his last quarter at college and drove him to put together his most ambitious project to date. After several intense weeks of writing and arranging original songs, he assembled a team of Northwestern University's finest musicians to participate in a project that blended unconventional songwriting with a traditional approach to composition. Funded in part by the backers of his successful Kickstarter campaign, the project quickly moved to the recording stage at StudioMedia. After months of work, the album has finally been released and can be purchased here!

Do I Know You? traces the trajectory of love across its various permutations. From infatuation and concern to obsessions with fame and power, the themes of each song take the listener through a journey of highs and lows. The unique blend of acoustic instrumentals, spirited vocals, and dramatic lyrics promises to deliver a fresh perspective on songwriting.
Ox Thief by Patrick Huselman <i> 2017 </i>

Ox Thief by Patrick Huselman 2017

Ox Thief is an emerging group from the musically rich city of Chicago, IL. In late 2015 Lead Singer Patrick Hulseman had completed composition of an album’s worth of songs, and was looking to bring the tracks to life. What began as a mixing project between Patrick and keyboardist/producer Kyle Liss soon turned into a live band, and thus Ox Thief was born.

Patrick assembled a cast of excellent musicians to fill out the group, beginning with his longtime friend and drummer Andrew Pilacoutas. Andrew and Patrick had played together in the band Lakeside Collective, bringing a great chemistry to the band. This interplay of longtime collaborators was furthered with the addition of bassist Michael Cantella, a bandmate of Kyle’s from the Chicago group IndigoSun. With this core band, Patrick deepened the sound by bringing in Justin Chaves and Mel Washington (of the TV show Empire) on guitar; Liz Jackson, Grace Heimerl, Jen Mclemore and Windy Lawlor on vocals; and Roy McGrath, Victor Garcia, and John Mose as the group’s horn section. The band recorded at IV Lab Studios in Chicago with the help of engineer Chris Harden at the end of 2015, and Kyle Liss and Michael Cantella completed production of the eponymous first release in 2016. The record also finds Lucas Ellman, Bryant Smith, Xavier Galdon, Kyle Madsen, and Samuel Lauritsen contributing their horn flavor.

The band blends influences of funk, soul, jazz, and R&B, channeling them into emotionally charged songs about love, loss and everything in between. The tracks on Ox Thief fuse these myriad influences into a cohesive sound that feels at once classic and modern, informed by the greats of the past while co-opting the best of the digital age. Through creative production, a vast array of synthesizers, gear, and musicians, and an engrossing narrative arc, Ox Thief is an intriguing journey into the unknown. The album is now available for purchase here:
Gustavo Cortiñas<i> Snapshot <i> 2013

Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot 2013

Victor Goines – Tenor Saxophone
Roy McGrath – Tenor Saxophone
Justin Copeland – Trumpet
Michael Allemana – Guitar
Kitt Lyles – Upright Bass
Gustavo Cortiñas – Drums and cymbals.

Recorded on Feb. 28th and March 3rd 2013 by Scott Steinman at Studiomedia Recording Company, 1030 Davis St., Evanston, IL.

All compositions written, arranged and produced by Gustavo Cortiñas
Roy McGrath Trio <i> Long Shot <i> 2010

Roy McGrath Trio Long Shot 2010

Roy McGrath – Tenor Saxophone
Trey Boudreaux – Upright Bass
Gustavo Cortiñas – Drums

Recorded by Tim Stambaugh in December 2010 at Word of Mouth Studios New Orleans, Louisiana.
Easy Company <i> Easy Company 2010 <i>

Easy Company Easy Company 2010

Own This Music:
Roy McGrath – Tenor Saxophone
Joe Shirley – Piano and Keyboards
David Shirley – Drums
Chris Lippincott – Guitar
Calvin Morin-Martin – Electric Bass

Recorded in 2010 by Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana