“Keys’ unadorned soul-jazz guitar glides through an array of sonic environments, with funk, acid-jazz and DJ-culture influences and an extensive roster of players – including saxophonist Sonny Fortune, trombonist Phil Ranelin and drummer Babatunde Lea, to name a few.” — David R. Adler, Jazz Times
Legendary Black Jazz Guitarist Calvin Keys returns to Wide Hive for another stellar release. In the same vein that Detour into Unconscious Rhythms fused modern production with classy jazz stylings, Vertical Clearance continues in the same vein.
This time around Calvin is joined by the legendary saxophonist Sonny Fortune, drumming maverick Babatunde, and familiar Wide Hive staples Matt Montgomery and Gregory Howe Adding to this all-star line-up is Paul Hanson (saxophone) and Roger Glenn (vibes), as well as Tribe Records inspiration and newly recruited Wide Hive artist Phil Ranelin. Doug Carn (Earth Wind and Fire) also plays keyboards on a few tracks and Kat Ouano (Variable Unit) also chimes in on the keys.
2. Spreading Spirit (Feat. Sonny Fortune)
3. Unresolved Daydream
4. Proceed With Caution
5. Secaucus S. Rutherford (Feat. Headnodic)
6. Vertical Clearance
7. Seven and Sonny
8. Maximum Height
9. Blue D
10. Drunk Monk
11. Last Exit
Babatunde Lea, "Tunde," as he is known to intimates, has drawn immeasurable experience working with such singular stylists as Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, and a host of others.
Calvin Keys’ has played guitar with such greats as Eddie Cleanhead Vinson and bassist Gerald Holts. At age 17, he first hit the road with sax player Little Walkin’ Willie. Soon after, he worked with Preston Love, of the Count Basie Orchestra and The Frank Edwards Organ Trio. That foundation led to working with one of the greatest organ trios of all time‚ The Jimmy Smith Trio, and soon he was recording on the legendary Blackjazz record label. Soon afterwards, he was hired to record and tour with Ray Charles, and was the guitarist for Ray’s Big Band.
Doug Carn is a keyboardist and B3 organ player who has played with Nat Adderly, Earth Wind and Fire, Shirley Horn, Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrenting, and Irene Reid.
Doug Carn played organ on Calvin Keys’ Vertical Clearance.
Gregory Howe founded Wide Hive Records in 1996. While primarily active as producer, mixer, and composer, Howe also performs guitar, synthesizer, turntable, voice and percussion on many recordings. From 1996 to 2011 Howe recorded and released albums for Dissent, Calvin Keys, Phil Ranelin (Pharoah Sanders, Henry Franklin, Big Black), Wide Hive Players and the incomparable artist and guitarist Larry Coryell.
Kat Ouano plays keys for Plate Fork Knife Spoon, and on Variable Unit’s Seven Grain, Handbook for the Apocalypse, Cold Flow and Calvin Keys’ Vertical Clearance release. She also plays with the Bay Area's Crown City Rockers, and formerly, the Broun Fellinis.
Matt Montgomery plays the bass, writes music, and plays piano/keyboards. He has performed and/or recorded with Faye Carol, Calvin Keys, Larry Coryell, Mark Levine, Phil Ranelin, singer/songwriters Cass McCombs, Greg Ashley, Adam Stephens (of Two Gallants), Grammy-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, and many more.
Paul Hanson has performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Dewey Redman, Billy Higgins and Cirque du Soleil. In addition he is known for working with the American composer Terry Riley and began his career as a saxophonist with Eddie Money.
Recognized as a master flute and vibraphone player, Roger Glenn has played and recorded with such giants of Jazz and Latin music as Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader and Rosemary Clooney, to name just a few.
Sonny Fortune has played with Elvin Jones, Leon Thomas and Mongo Santamaria, and Miles Davis, in his fusion group, where he stayed for a year, recording four LPs, Big Fun, Agartha, Pangaea and Get Up With It. Sonny has also recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson, George Benson, Nat Adderly and released independent records on Blue Note, A&M Horizon and cult classic label Strata East.