Bruce Von Stiers
Henry Godfrey is a jazz drummer who has a degree in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music. He received an Honorable Mention at the
2021 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer's Awards for one of his songs. Godfrey formed his own group, the Henry Godfrey Jazz Orchestra, which recorded a well-received album.
This year finds Godfrey and his Henry Godfrey Jazz Orchestra with a brand-new album. This sophomore release is titled Attitude & Gratitude. Godfrey wrote all of the compositions and produced the album. It is being self-released. Although the album has only five songs, it has a play time of fifty minutes.
As this is an orchestral musical group, there are a bunch of people who play on the songs on the album. Aaron Dutton, Alex Ramirez, Ian Buss, Anton Derevyanko and Nicholas Suchecki all played saxophone on the album. On trumpet there was Miles Keingstein, Matt Kelly, Eli Block and Zoe Murphy. The trombone players on the album were Joey Dies, Jasmine Sloane and Sam Margolis. Michael Juba Prentky played the brass trombone and tuba. Pritesh Walia was on guitar and Rowan Barcham was on piano. Anna Abondolo played bass on one song. And Godfrey played the drums on all of the songs.
Written as a tribute to McCoy Tyner, the song For McCoy has great piano and guitar solos. There is nice bass and drum backing the solos and other elements of the song. It is a really good song that brings forth the essence of how Godfrey interpreted the style of Tyner's music.
The second song on the album is Mad Max. It is just pure fun. It has a super cool groove tone that utilizes the horn section extensively. The song is also the longest on the album, coming in at almost thirteen minutes.
Forgetting What Will Never Be starts out as a slow and endearing song. Then it moves into a more moderate tone with nice trumpet and sax in front of bass and drum to crescendo into a kind of light samba styling.
Hot Water is an interesting song that has a bunch of different elements. There is some strong horn music tied together with drum and then the song mellows out. But just for a bit. The description of the song paints a picture of slowly boiling water that simmers and then boiling again. That description does seem to fit the music in the song.
The final song on the album is We'll Get There. It has a lot of good bass and drum, along with some nice saxophone and trumpet.
Attitude & Gratitude is an album filled with an interesting mix of subtle and lively jazz music. It was a nice way to get introduced to Henry Godfrey, not only for his compositions but his drumming as well. And that he chose a very talented group of artists to complement his music.
Attitude & Gratitude can be found at various streaming sites and music outlets. You can hear a sample from the album on Godfrey's website at https://www.henrygodfreymusic.com/
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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers