Randy Napoleon

Puppets: The Music of Gregg Hill

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: OA2 Records
UPC: 0805552220223
Catnr: OA2 22202
Release date: 11 November 2022
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
OA2 Records
Catalogue number
OA2 22202
Release date
11 November 2022

About the album

While staying true to his roots as a guitarist deep in gratitude to Wes Montgomery and Grant Green, Randy Napoleon aspires to find new routes through the music and refine his already fully evolved voice. On Puppets, he teams with the prolific composer Gregg Hill, finding energy in Hill's quirky, out of the box melodies, and arranging them to keep the spirit of the tunes while amplifying Hill's intentions. He joins with longtime compatriots - three of the hardest swinging and creative voices in jazz, Rick Roe, Rodney Whitaker, and Quincy Davis - and features New York vocalist Aubrey Johnson on several Napoleon-penned lyrics. As his former employer Freddie Cole reminded him often, “It’s not only how good you play, it’s about how you present the music.” Napoleon takes the advice to heart, continually swinging while looking to keep his audience surprised and inspired.
Während er seinen Wurzeln als Gitarrist in tiefer Dankbarkeit gegenüber Wes Montgomery und Grant Green treu bleibt, strebt Randy Napoleon danach, neue Wege durch die Musik zu finden und seine bereits vollständig entwickelte Fähigkeit zu verfeinern. Auf Puppets arbeitet er mit dem produktiven Komponisten Gregg Hill zusammen. Er findet die Energie in Hills schrulligen, ausgefallenen Melodien und arrangiert sie so, dass der Geist der Stücke erhalten bleibt, während er Hills Intentionen noch verstärkt. Er tut sich mit langjährigen Weggefährten zusammen - drei der am stärksten swingenden und kreativen Stimmen im Jazz, Rick Roe, Rodney Whitaker und Quincy Davis - und bringt den New Yorker Sänger Aubrey Johnson bei einigen Texten aus der Feder von Napoleon mit. Sein ehemaliger Auftraggeber Freddie Cole erinnerte ihn oft daran: "Es kommt nicht nur darauf an, wie gut du spielst, sondern auch darauf, wie du die Musik präsentierst." Napoleon nimmt sich diesen Rat zu Herzen, swingt ständig und versucht, sein Publikum zu überraschen und zu inspirieren.


Known as a forward-thinking musician with a passion for the jazz tradition, guitarist Randy Napoleon is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University. He is currently touring as a leader after twenty years of road apprenticeship with some of the most celebrated musicians and groups of our time.

Napoleon cut his teeth touring with pianist Benny Green, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Michael Bublé, and a thirteen year tenure with Freddy Cole. He has also performed with artists across the jazz spectrum such as Bill Charlap, Natalie Cole, Monty Alexander, Rodney Whitaker and John Pizzarelli.

Napoleon has performed or arranged on over seventy records. He arranged as well as performed on Freddy Cole's seven most recent records including the Grammy-nominated releases, Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B and My Mood Is You. He performed on The Clayton Hamilton Orchestra: Live at MCG. Napoleon is featured on Bublé's Grammy-nominated CD/DVD Caught in the Act.

Napoleon has played on The Tonight Show, Late Night With David Letterman, The View, The Today Show, and The Ellen DeGeneres show as well as TV shows in South America, Europe and Asia. He has performed across the globe at notable venues including Royal Albert Hall, The Sydney Opera House, The Hollywood Bowl, and Lincoln Center.

Guitarist George Benson calls Napoleon "sensational." Detroit Free Press critic Mark Stryker says Napoleon "plays with a gentle, purring tone that makes you lean in close to hear its range of color and articulation." Washington Post critic Mike Joyce praises his "exceptionally nimble finger-style technique." Comparing him to Wes Montgomery, music critic Michael G. Nastos says, "he displays an even balance of swing, soul, and single-line or chord elements that mark an emerging voice dedicated to tradition and universally accessible jazz values."



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