Friends and fans, I’m happy to announce that for the first time since 2003’s My New Attitude, I’m finally out with a new album! It’s a quartet recording entitled January, made together with my fine colleagues Eric Schoor on tenor sax, Clay Schaub on bass, and Todd Howell on drums. Among its eleven tunes are seven of my own that have been waiting for years to be recorded (at least in their present form), two originals from Eric, and two standards (one of which was brilliantly arranged by Eric). It is officially a Blujazz release, thanks to the support of Greg Pasenko, the head of that classy Chicago label.

On a personal note, and to clarify the first sentence written above: I’m not happy that it’s been 16 years, only that I’ve at long last brought another creative project to fruition! This, along with another album of a different nature that will follow in much shorter time, was a case of a dream put off overlong. To be sure, I’ve been engaged in other worthwhile endeavors, such as the books I’ve written for Hal Leonard, or the very club dates and concerts through which much of this music was initially presented and honed. But in the midst of these things, as regards making another album, I let myself go far down that track of, “I’ll get to that when I’m less busy with these other things,” and you know the moral to the story on that. But I finally sensed that life was giving me a nudge to tend to my creative goals without further delay, and now it’s inconceivable to me that I could’ve waited any longer.

And perhaps, in some ways, the timing of this project was just right—had I acted on it some years earlier, perhaps not all of these tunes would have been written, or this quartet wouldn’t have had its nice run of gigging together that made things click so well by the time of this session (or, going back far enough, I wouldn’t even have known Eric or Clay), or I wouldn’t have gotten pointed in the helpful direction of Blujazz. But in any case, these tracks are now out, and these tunes and our playing together has been “permanized,” as far as anything can reasonably made permanent. Thanks for listening to my story, and thanks (I hope I can also say) for listening to this music!