Surrounded by a stellar cast that boasts George Benson, David Sanborn, Smokey Robinson, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Ray Parker Jr. and many more, his “Outside the Box” series continues with “Jammin’ Outside the Box,” dropping July 20.
LOS ANGELES (26 June 2018): Indulging his passion for R&B-pop on the second volume of his five-part, multi-genre “Outside the Box” series, keyboardist David Garfield will release “Jammin’ Outside the Box” on July 20 on Creatchy Records. Like the first disc, the straight-ahead jazz exploration “Jazz Outside the Box,” Garfield produced, arranged and played piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer electric piano and synthesizers on a carefully-selected set list with purposefully-chosen collaborators that spotlights sessions with seminal icons, Grammy winners, chart-toppers and prominent players. Garfield has a personal connection and meaningful history with every song and each musician he selected for the groove rich, soul-jazz album, crucial elements that position the ambitious “Outside the Box” anthology towards becoming an enduring, career-capping collection.
Two of the singles that prefaced “Jammin’ Outside the Box,” “Go Home” and “Jamming,” peaked in the Billboard Top 10 and the recently-released third single, “Stay” featuring George Benson, David Sanborn and singer-songwriterMoon Calhoun, aims to follow suit. In addition to the three original Garfield tunes, including “One Like You,” which he wrote with Smokey Robinson, who plies his trademark falsetto complimented by Michael McDonald on background vocals, Garfield redesigned R&B, funk and pop classics made famous by Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Adele, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Toto, Isley Brothers, Rufus, Minnie Riperton, Bobby Caldwell and one of his keyboard mentors, Joe Sample. To do so, Garfield gathered members of the Zac Brown Band, Steely Dan, Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, Chicago, Toto and Tower of Power along with an army of noteworthy soloists including Ray Parker Jr., Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr., Eric Marienthal, Tom Scott, Vinnie Colaiuta, Greg Phillinganes, Steve Jordan, Freddie Washington, Will Lee, Tony Maiden, Rickey Minor and Lenny Castro.
“One of the things I have always loved to do is keep the spirit of old-school R&B fresh and alive for new generations of listeners. This explains my longstanding tradition of creating interesting and sometimes stylistically off-the-beaten path reimaginings of songs by legendary soul artists. It was a thrill doing these songs, adding a jazz touch with improvisation that take the songs ‘outside the box.’ What was also special for me is that this album features a lot of people I work with or have worked for, from Smokey and George to David Sanborn and Natalie Cole, but now I got to have them as guests on my thing,” said Garfield, a Los Angeles-based musician’s musician who grew up in St Louis on a steady diet of R&B and jazz.
An example of the poignancy that proliferates “Jammin’ Outside the Box,” one can look at “The Highways Of My Life,” which features an introduction by Cole. Garfield toured with her for two years. During their first trek together, she introduced him to the Isley Brothers’ original and asked him to craft an arrangement for her. Before they could perform it live together, Garfield was summoned to return to his long-held gig as Benson’s music director. But Cole performed his arrangement nonetheless. When Garfield hatched the “Outside the Box” concept a few years ago, he reached out to Cole to have her sing it. Unfortunately, she passed away prior to the recording date. Admirably filling in for her are Oleta Adams and Phil Perry, who masterfully reposition the song as a moving duet. Cole’s voice is heard introducing the song, creating a divine moment.
“The final touch was having a 24-piece string section arranged by Grammy winner John Clayton. This takes the song to the high and luxurious level a tribute to Natalie deserves. I owe this track to Natalie. It was one of her favorite songs and that’s why it’s an important part of this collection.”
“Jammin’ Outside the Box” contains the following songs:
“Please Don’t Go”
“One Like You”
“Waiting For Your Love”
“Rainbow Seeker” (electric)
“The Highways Of My Life”
“What You Won’t Do For Love”
“Harvest Time” (electric)
For more information, please visit www.DavidGarfield.com.
Keyboardist David Garfield is joined by George Benson and David Sanborn on the next single previewing his "Jammin' Outside the Box" album. "Stay" features the Rufus hit's co-writer, Moon Calhoun, on lead vocals.
LOS ANGELES (23 May 2018): When asked how he got Grammy-winning legends George Benson and David Sanborn to perform on his new single, "Stay," keyboardist David Garfield responds dryly with a gleeful grin, "You ask them." The third single from Garfield's forthcoming "Jammin' Outside the Box" album is a remake of the Rufus classic featuring the vintage R&B-funk band's former drummer Moon Calhoun singing lead on the song he wrote with Chaka Khan. "Stay" goes for radio adds on June 11 and drops digitally from Creatchy Records on June 15.
As Garfield was gathering material for his multi-disc, multi-genre "Outside the Box" series, he decided to give his long-time friend, Calhoun, the chance to sing the first song he ever wrote, which appeared on Rufus's "Street Player" (1978). Calhoun was paralyzed in a bike accident 25 years ago and although he can no longer play drums, he can still sing. After inviting Benson and Sanborn to participate, Garfield let Calhoun cast the rest of the track's musicians, which includes original Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden, along with Maiden's daughter, Amanda Maiden, on backing vocals. Among the prominent players is a powerhouse sax section comprised of Sanborn on alto, Eric Marienthal on tenor and Tower of Power's Doc Kupka on baritone; Paul Jackson Jr. (rhythm guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Freddie Washington (bass) and Lenny Castro (percussion). Sanborn and Benson take turns in the spotlight soloing.
"Both George and David were very gracious. It was great to put them together. They compliment each other," said Garfield, who is Benson's long-serving music director and has collaborated with Sanborn on numerous occasions. "Initially George was only going to play the solo, but when he heard the guitar tracks, he added some rhythm guitar as well. This track really embodies the idea of musical community, where everyone works hand in hand, gifting each other with their talents. All I think about when I hear the finished song now is, 'Moon finally got to sing his song!'"
Scheduled to street on July 20, "Jammin' Outside the Box" is the second volume of the star-studded "Outside the Box" collection. Released in late March, Garfield's first ever straight-ahead jazz date, "Jazz Outside the Box," continues to gather radio spins and receive accolades. "Jammin' Outside the Box" mixes it up in the smooth/contemporary jazz sandbox showcasing luminaries Benson, Sanborn, Smokey Robinson, Michael McDonald, Ray Parker Jr., Oleta Adams, Phil Perry, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun and many more. The outing's first single, "Go Home," hit No. 2 on the Billboard chart, while the follow up, "Jamming," rose to No. 8.
Garfield will perform music from "Outside the Box" on May 31at Cleveland's Night Town and celebrate "Jazz Outside the Box" on June 12 in Hollywood at the Catalina Jazz Club featuring special guests.
For more information, please visit www.DavidGarfield.com.
He wrote the heartbroken ballad "I Lied" with legend Smokey Robinson.
LOS ANGELES (5 April 2018): There is no telling where your career will take you when it spans five decades, but jazz/R&B keyboardist David Garfield never imagined that he'd hit the country charts let alone for a song that he wrote with Motown icon Smokey Robinson. "I Lied," the power pop ballad that they penned, has reached No. 60 on the Music Row singles chart and gained New & Active status on the Billboard Indicator chart. The accompanying video for the track featuring vocalist J. Paris has been added to the playlist at the Heartland Network, "the beating pulse of country music for the nation" reaching over 22 million households.
"It's amazing and we are thrilled to be receiving a lot of country airplay. Smokey and I wrote 'I Lied' with a female singer in mind. It was the second tune we wrote together, and it was just sitting in the archives. It hadn't been recorded. When I began work on (my current project) 'Outside the Box,' I went to Nashville to track the song after hearing a country inflection in the singer's voice when she demoed it for me here in LA. It was always an R&B/pop song, a product of my relationship with Smokey. He's a poet, masterful with his lyrics. When we started writing it, it was like a contemporary pop (song) with a little R&B influence. Like all the other stuff we've been working on, very traditional and fresh at the same time, but nothing in the world of country," said Garfield, a St. Louis native who has been long been anchored in Los Angeles. "These songs have stories, that's the thing. 'I Lied' has such an amazing story to it."
Robinson wrote the storied lyrics and sweeping melody lines for "I Lied." "When I write, let me write something that's going to just mean something for as long as there are people. If I can possibly do it, that's what I want to do," said the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy winner and member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Garfield and Robinson first wrote together when composing "One Like You" for George Benson's 2009 album, "Songs and Stories." That same year, Garfield, who serves as Benson's longtime music director, performed on Robinson's "Time Flies When You're Having Fun" disc.
"I Lied" will also appear on Garfield's "Vox Outside the Box," part of his ambitious multivolume "Outside the Box" collection showcasing the prolific keyboardist's collaborations with jazz, R&B, rock and pop luminaries. The first set, "Jazz Outside the Box," dropped March 23 on Garfield's Creatchy Records imprint and is his first straight-ahead jazz outing. The first two singles from "Jamming Outside the Box" - "Go Home" and "Jamming" - hit the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart with the former peaking at No. 2 and the latter currently climbing the Top 20. "Jamming Outside the Box" is slated for release this summer.
To watch Garfield and Robinson discuss "I Lied," click https://bit.ly/2I3iZEi.
To view the "I Lied" video, click https://bit.ly/2BolVeF.
For more information, please visit www.DavidGarfield.com.
The first volume of his sprawling “Outside the Box” series, “Jazz Outside the Box,” due March 23, is his first straight-ahead jazz offering illuminated by a stellar lineup.
LOS ANGELES (1 March 2018): Keyboardist David Garfield was nineteen when he got his start playing alongside influential bebop jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. But opportunities came quickly for him in contemporary jazz as well as in R&B and pop, which guided the direction of his now five-decade career away from his roots. Straight-ahead jazz has remained in his core and he’s longed to return “home” thus to launch his prolific multi-volume, multi-genre “Outside the Box” collection, Garfield will drop his first straight-ahead jazz album, “Jazz Outside the Box,” on March 23 via his Creatchy Records label.
In addition to playing piano, Fender Rhodes and synthesizers, Garfield produced and arranged the 15-track jazz set that revisits Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Joe Sample, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Oliver Nelson and Joe Zawinul classics, applies an imaginative jazz varnish to a pair of Sting songs, and presents four of his own compositions. To materialize his vision, Garfield rounded up a massive ensemble that boasts several accomplished musicians he’s never worked with before but have long been on his wish list of collaborators such as trumpeter Wallace Roney, percussionist Poncho Sanchez and drummer Steve Jordan. Randy Brecker, Michael McDonald, Tom Scott, Eric Marienthal, Pete Christlieb, Bennie Maupin, Brian Auger, Will Lee, Airto Moreira along with dozens of other prominent players guest on the record, which includes Charlie Bisharat’s String Quartet and an orchestra conducted by John Clayton. “Jazz Outside the Box” contains among the final performances by a pair of recently-departed guitar greats, Chuck Loeb and Larry Coryell. Perhaps the most unusual contribution comes from The Doors’ John Densmore, who plays drums and orates on a spoken word segment on the full-length version of Silver’s “Song For My Father.”
“I recruited a unique grouping of players to render each song. It was like casting for a movie. For example, ‘Song For My Father’ is rich with meaning, history and personal connections, which is a major component and an underlying purpose behind the entire ‘Outside the Box’ project. On that tune, I pay tribute to its author, Horace Silver, who was my mentor and like an adopted father to me. It also pays homage to The Doors and Steely Dan. A lot of people don’t know that Horace originally wrote lyrics to the song, so I had John (Densmore) speak Horace’s words. Another cool thing is that Steely Dan borrowed the opening bass riff from ‘Song for My Father’ for ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’ so I often quoted ‘Rikki’ whenever I played ‘Song for My Father’ at my gigs. I included that quote at the beginning of this recording, which features guitarist Denny Dias, a founding member of Steely Dan who played on the original ‘Rikki.’ There’s also a part of the track where I have (former Chicago lead singer) Jason Scheff sing ‘If you have a change of heart’ as another nod to ‘Rikki,’” said Garfield.
One of Garfield’s originals is “East Lou Brew,” another salute steeped in personal history. The song honors Miles Davis and their shared hometown, St. Louis. Davis’s nephew, Vince Wilburn, mans the drum kit, Davis protégé Roney shines on trumpet, Maupin plays sax and bass clarinet, Coryell is on guitar, Darryl Jones handles bass and Moreira adds percussion. Wilburn, Jones, Maupin and Moreira were in Davis’s band with the latter two having played on Davis’s landmark album, “Bitches Brew.”
“‘East Lou Brew’ is an adventurous tune loosely based on themes from some of Miles’ best-known works. It was incredible to play with all these greats who knew Miles and toured and recorded with him. They all shared a ton of stories, which helped ground the tune in both past and present. I consider Miles one of my strongest and primary musical influences and I always wanted to play with him. This is the next best thing.”
Another giant who was one of Garfield’s mentors was Sample. “I got to write, tour and record with Joe, and recorded his song, ‘Rainbow Seeker,’ to honor his recent passing. I was devastated when we lost him and wanted to find the perfect way to honor him on this project. Joe was not only one of my favorite all-time keyboard players, but he was a huge influence on my musical development as a pianist and keyboardist.”
As “Jazz Outside the Box” prepares to ship to jazz radio stations, Garfield’s single, “Jamming,” continues to climb the smooth jazz charts. On the heels of his Billboard No. 2 hit, “Go Home,” both singles will appear on “Jamming Outside the Box,” the second album in the series with this one approaching jazz from a contemporary/smooth perspective. The disc will be released this summer. Also, presently moving up the country charts is “I Lied,” a vocal ballad Garfield penned with legend Smokey Robinson, which will be released on “Vox Outside the Box.”
“Jazz Outside the Box” contains the following songs:
“In A Sentimental Mood”
“Song For My Father” (full-length)
“Voodoo Gumbo/Citizen Coryell”
“East Lou Brew”
“My Favorite Things”
“Song For My Father” (radio edit)
For more information, please visit www.DavidGarfield.com.
The ambitious jazz-R&B keyboardist gathers his all-star friends to create a massive multi-record, multi-genre collection that has already scored a Billboard hit single.
LOS ANGELES (15 February 2018): Four decades into an accomplished career that has seen him record and tour with many of the brightest stars in the contemporary jazz, R&B and pop galaxies as well as front his own bands and solo albums, keyboardist-songwriter-producer-arranger David Garfield still feels like an outsider.
"All my life, I'm just trying to make music that I really believe in and can get really excited about. It's never fit into one particular category thus, in many ways, I've spent my whole music career outside the box. It's never been intentional and it's not like I'm trying to be different just to be different. I'm just trying to be creative while striving for the highest level of musical and artistic integrity. In the long run, my career has taken place outside the box," said Garfield, about "Outside the Box," the extensive collection of recordings that he's curating featuring a stellar cast of A-listers and premier session players that will be released on his Creatchy Records label.
The multi-part, genre-crossing project spanning various types of jazz, R&B, pop, country and rock will unfold in a series of record releases beginning with the March 23 release of "Jazz Outside the Box," a straight-ahead jazz set with performances by Randy Brecker, Michael McDonald, The Doors' drummer John Densmore, Tom Scott, Jason Scheff (Chicago), Will Lee, Eric Marienthal, Steve Ferrone, Vinnie Colaiuta, John Clayton, Michael Thompson, Brian Auger and Charlie Bisharat along with the accompaniment of full horn and string sections.
The second outing, "Jamming Outside the Box," slated to drop this summer, has already spawned a Billboard No. 2 single with "Go Home," showcasing a sizzling lineup on the Stevie Wonder original comprised of Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum, guitar aces Paul Jackson Jr. and Tony Maiden (Rufus), bassist Freddie Washington, fellow keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, and horn players Marienthal and Stephen "Doc" Kupka (Tower of Power). This disc will be comprised of smooth/contemporary jazz cuts, including the second single presently climbing the charts, "Jamming," a remake of the Bob Marley classic showcasing guitarist Mike Campbell (a member of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) and saxophonist Brandon Fields (The Rippingtons, Tower of Power). Icons David Sanborn and George Benson are among the luminous guests on the album, the latter for whom Garfield has served as music director since 1986. Other prominent players in the mix are Rick Braun, Nathan East, Marcus Miller, Ray Parker Jr. and Rickey Minor.
Presently rising up the Mediabase country charts is a preview of "Vox Outside the Box," a set of vocal songs that will be the third release of the series. "I Lied" is one of two songs Garfield wrote for the project with legend Smokey Robinson and radio programmers have been swift to embrace the cinematically sweet ballad with adult contemporary crossover potential http://bit.ly/2BolVeF).
The fourth component will be "Stretchin' Outside the Box," which Garfield describes as "more adventurous with extended intros and special arrangements, a record perhaps geared towards musicians and music enthusiasts. It'll have more fusion plus bonus tracks and alternate versions." Garfield is also planning a seasonal selection entitled "Holidays Outside the Box."
"Outside the Box" includes some of the final performances from the late guitarists Chuck Loeb and Larry Coryell. Their passings are part of what sparks Garfield's inspiration for this enormous undertaking.
"The truth is we're all getting older, and I wanted to gather all these great talents together while everyone is still alive, active and accessible," said the St. Louis native and longtime Los Angeles resident. "I think that this will be the last time I'll have the chance to do anything like this, especially of this scope and magnitude. The feeling I had throughout the project - from session to session, even as the personnel changed - was that we were collectively creating a powerful sense of community through the music."
Despite all that he has done and achieved, including composing music for television, film, commercials and several international organizations, "Outside the Box" feels like it will be a career capper for Garfield, a crowning musical statement that he hopes will have a lasting impact. "I'm thinking about both the present and future, putting these tracks out in the world for consumption now, but in the hopes that after we're gone, musicians who come up years from now will know what it was like to set up a Fender Rhodes and a drum set in the garage and play. Despite all the technology we have at our disposal, that's where the raw energy begins. That energy is the core and driving force behind these songs, which to me truly represent not just the incredible musical legacy of Los Angeles, but various music communities from around the world."
For more information, please visit www.Creatchy.com.