In June, six members of Temple University's noted jazz faculty gathered in Bunker Hill Studio in Brooklyn to record eight tracks of new music composed by Bruce Barth. Terell Stafford, director of Jazz Studies at Temple, lead the charge and the result, "Family Feeling," is a reflection on the warm camaraderie between Terell Stafford (trumpet); Dick Oatts (also/soprano saxophone); Bruce Barth (piano); Tim Warfield, Jr., (tenor/soprano saxophone); David Wong (bass); and Byron Landham (drums) that has been forged over many years of touring and teaching side by side. This is the first time they have recorded together as a group.
Shaun Brady, who authored the liner notes, wrote that these six musicians,
"are a family - and one formed entirely by choice, through ties forged on the bandstand, on the road, and in the classroom." Brady rightfully observes them as father figures, "which these six gentlemen have become to a rising generation of aspiring jazz musicians, passing along knowledge gleaned through experience in the time-honored tradition of jazz's venerated oral history."
The Jazz Studies Program at Temple University, under the leadership of Terell Stafford, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, along with a myriad of performance opportunities for students, including master classes with greats such as Wycliffe Gordon, Randy Brecker and John Clayton, as well as performances in The Appel Room and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Featured guest artists have included René Marie, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis and Warren Wolf. The Band has released five recordings on BCM&D Records, which stands for the Boyer College of Music and Dance (at Temple University). The label has also produced three Grammy nominated recordings by the Temple University Symphony Orchestra.
Terell Stafford has been hailed as "one of the great players of our time" by piano legend McCoy Tyner. He has played with Benny Golson, McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath and Dizzy Gillespie. Mr. Stafford is a member of the Grammy winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He can be heard on over 130 albums including his latest, Brotherlee Love, a tribute to the late Lee Morgan. He is the Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. Mr. Stafford is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Jazz, Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University.
Dick Oatts was brought up in a musical family in Iowa, introduced to the saxophone by his father, respected jazz educator and saxophonist Jack Oatts. He has worked with countless greats, including Eddie Gomez, Joe Lovano, Fred Hersch, Lalo Schifrin, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Mr. Oatts has accompanied vocalists Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé and recorded solos for Luther Vandross and Everything but the Girl. He has also recorded 10 solo and 5 co-led albums. Mr. Oatts is Professor of Jazz at Temple University.
Bruce Barth has been sharing his music with listeners around the world for more than three decades. Deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, his music reflects both the depth and breadth of his life and musical experiences. Barth has performed on over 100 recordings and movie soundtracks, including 10 as a leader. He's toured Japan with Nat Adderley, was a member of Terence Blanchard's quintet and played on screen in Spike Lee's Malcolm X. Mr. Barth taught at Berklee College of Music, Long Island University and is on the Jazz Studies faculty at Temple University.
Tim Warfield is a veteran saxophonist known for his big, swaggering tenor tone. He has appeared on several Grammy nominated recordings and shared the stage with Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, Isaac Hayes, Peter Nero, Christian McBride, Joey DeFrancesco and Jimmy Smith. He has released 10 acclaimed recordings as a leader, most recently the Thelonious Monk tribute Spherical (2015). Mr. Warfield is on the Jazz Studies faculty at Temple University and is a member of the Terell Stafford Quintet.
David Wong grew up in New York and graduated from The Juilliard School. He is a member of Roy Haynes' Fountain of Youth Band, The Heath Brothers Quartet, The Benny Green Trio, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride and Paula West. He has recorded with Benny Green, Dan Nimmer, Jeb Patton, and Albert "Tootie" Heath and Sachal Vasandani. He was also the last bass player in Hank Jones' Great Jazz Trio and is on the Jazz Studies faculty at Temple University.
Byron Landham was born in Philadelphia, the youngest of six children including his saxophonist brother Robert. He began playing at age 7, studying classical percussion and jazz drumming at Settlement Music School. He was a first-call drummer on the Philly scene by the time he finished high school and over the decades has played with Betty Carter, George Coleman, Bobby Hutcherson, Joey DeFrancesco, Pat Martino, Cyrus Chestnut, Russell Malone and multi-Grammy Award winner David Sanborn. Mr. Landham is on the Jazz Studies faculty at Temple University.