The Levin Brothers' 2014 self-titled debut release was a long overdue first album by two brothers who've been recording individually for ... well, a lot of years! It was a return home to the music they first shared as kids, the 'cool jazz' of the 1950's. After decades of making dozens of solo albums and hundreds as sidemen for other artists, 'Levin Brothers' was the first duo project they started together from the scratch. It was a labor of love to compose melody-based pieces in that '50s style, and perform them with the chemistry of musicians who play like ...like brothers! For the album and the live band, Pete and Tony recruited two friends, saxophonist Erik Lawrence and drummer Jeff "Siege" Siegel. In the studio and live they wear suits and ties, part of immersing themselves in the genre.
In preparation for the original release, the Levins contacted a prominent Jazz manager to help them navigate today's market. Tony recalls, "When the manager saw the album cover, he said, 'this screams jazz!', we looked at each other and thought, 'great!', but the manager said, 'no, no, that's terrible! that's the worst thing you can do! Nowadays you have NOT to look like a jazz group.' We were shocked! That's a bizarre concept for the music industry, but it's funny to us. We're thinking, "if it screams jazz, no problem!' We're proud of that, still are!
The Levin Brothers band first hit the road in 2015. Their second tour, in 2017, kicked off with three weeks in South America, then back home to the USA: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, finishing up in New York City. When they returned from South America, the band was "hot". So they arranged to have three of their live gigs recorded. This album is the result, eleven of their favorite pieces recorded at three of their shows. Special thanks go to engineer Robert Frazza, and to Leonardo Pavkovic of MoonJune Music who makes these live gigs possible.
Recorded live by Robert Frazza during the North-American leg of Levin Brothers Tour 2017: March 30, Natick, MA (Natick Center For The Arts); March 31, Schenectady NY (The Van Dyck Lounge); April 1, Rochester, NY (Lovin' Cup).
Since graduating from the Eastman School of Music, Tony Levin has become bass and Chapman Stick voice for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. he has played on notable recordings for John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Carly Simon, and many others, as ell jazz artists Buddy Rich, Gary Burton and Chuck Mangione. He currently records and tours with Stick Men, King Crimson and Peter Gabriel.
After graduating from the Juilliard School, Pete Levin became a synthesizer specialist in the New York City recording studio scene. Over the years, he has graced hundreds of jazz and pop recordings and performances with many artists, including Gil Evans, Jimmy Giuffre, David Sanborn, Annie Lennox, Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius, Lenny White and Paul Simon. he has released nine solo albums.
Erik Lawrence is a longtime member of Levon helm's Midnight Ramble Band. His innovative band Hipmotism features Sex Mob's slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein. Equally proficient on flute and saxophone, Erik's career as a sideman has included work with Buddy Miles, Chico Hamilton, Joan Osborne, Little Feat and The Spin Doctors..
A veteran of the New York Jazz scene, Jeff 'Siege' Siegel has worked with a virtual who's-who of jazz artists. A member of Sir Roland Hanna's Trio from 1994-1999, Jeff has performed and recorded with Jazz legends including Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Lee Shaw, Jack DeJohnette, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Helen Merrill and Mose Allison.
Catch The Levin Brothers band live in 2018:
Tuesday January 2 - Kennett Square, PA (Kennett Flash)
Wednesday January 3 - Vienna, VA (Jammin' Java)
Thusday January 4 - Annapolis, MD (Ramshead)
Friday January 5 - New Hope, PA (Havana)
Saturday January 6 - Montclair, NJ (Trumpets)**
Sunday January 7 - Woodstock, NY (The Colony)
Thursday January 18 - Tokyo, Japan (Blues Alley)
Friday January 19 - Yokohama, Japan (Motion Blue)
Saturday January 20 - Nagoya, Japan (Star Eyes)
Monday January 22 - Osaka, Japan (Banana Hall)
** NEW DATE. There is no New York City gig anymore at The iridium.