Esteemed Trumpeter and Composer Danny Jonokuchi Announces the Release of Voices, The Highly Anticipated New Album by the Danny Jonokuchi Big Band
Out August 18, 2023 via Outside In Music
Outside In Music is thrilled to announce the August 18, 2023 release of Voices. Esteemed trumpeter and composer Danny Jonokuchi‘s label debut as a bandleader is a celebration of the enduring power of collective artistry and the boundless possibilities of vocal expression. Alongside the stellar 17-piece Danny Jonokuchi Big Band, Voices features eleven of the most virtuosic rising jazz vocalists of our time, with each putting their own unexpected and singular spin on newly arranged jazz standards. The album’s first three singles “You Turned The Tables On Me“, “Born to be Blue” and “All Or Nothing At All” are streaming now on all digital platforms.
Danny Jonokuchi first moved to New York City a decade ago, initially developing the concept for Voices upon meeting the seventeen masterful musicians that now populate the incomparable Danny Jonokuchi Big Band, and the eleven vocalists featured prominently on this release. The bandleader longed to create a project that spoke to each musician’s artistry and collaborative abilities. Jonokuchi shares: “Voices serves as a reminder of the magic that unfolds when talented musicians come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts… Without an ounce of exaggeration, Voices is truly my dream album.”
Over the past 10 years, Danny Jonokuchi has cemented his posture as one of the preeminent voices on the trumpet and in modern big band arranging. The 2020 winner of the Count Basie Great American Swing Contest and the 2020 ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Award, Jonokuchi’s well-crafted arrangements have been performed by an eye-popping array of artists ranging from pop icon Lady Gaga to veteran jazz vocalist Catherine Russell, as well as GRAMMY nominated vocalist Nicole Zuraitis, The Duke Ellington Legacy, and The Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band. Owens Jr., who wrote a foreword as part of the album’s liner notes, remarks “Voices is an obvious title for an album featuring some dynamite singers, but Danny and the members of the band have also proven to be the leading voices of their generation. I believe that as he continues with projects like Voices, Danny will continue to create an indelible mark in the jazz world and beyond.”
As an arranger, Jonokuchi is heralded for his ability to uniquely create the perfect sonic canvas over which vocalists can soar, as well as his uncanny ability to write to the strengths of each of the members of the ensemble. A Jonokuchi score has a distinct sound and feel to it that is palpable – and that dynamic, brilliant sound is displayed here in full-force.
Voices offers listeners emotive vocal renditions of standards featuring some of the very finest jazz vocalists on the scene today. The opening track of Voices is a bright, swinging rendition of the Jones & Khan classic “The One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else).” The bandleader remarks “The opening track features my oldest collaborator, Alexa Barchini. She is the only musician that has been featured on every album I’ve ever released. It was a no-brainer to make this song the opener—it has a striking uptempo and happy sound, and most people familiar with my music are huge fans of Alexa’s singing.” Brianna Thomas’ show-stopping rendition of “Summertime” is another highlight of Jonokuchi’s musical masterstroke. Thomas’ vocal lines ooze with her soulful refrains. Set as the fourth track on the album, this Gershwin standard is the explosive, grand slam of the record.
Jonokuchi’s bright-tempoed samba arrangement of “What a Difference a Day Made” features jubilant vocals from Alita Moses. The bandleader remarks that his collaboration with Moses has been a long-time coming, exclaiming “Alita Moses and I have been dreaming up a big band collaboration for years but our schedules have never aligned… So when I first heard her sing my version of “What a Difference a Day Made” I’ll admit I got teary-eyed… When I heard her belting this fun samba arrangement was when I felt the project truly came together.” Listeners will enjoy Zuraitis’ sultry vocals on the bandleader’s leisurely arrangement of “Social Call”. Jonokuchi recalls “Nicole Zuraitis’ performance of “Social Call” gives me goosebumps. She gets inside of the arrangement with her flawless execution of the rather angular melody. She stays so true to the original melody that when she embellishes it there’s a profound sense of wonder.”
Voices goes far to bring the classic big band sound into 2023. Jonokuchi strikes the perfect balance of tradition and innovation, and the musicians that can be heard throughout this album’s tracks are whole-heartedly dedicated to creating an ensemble-sound that compliments the vocalist in a masterful way. The bandleader notes “I’m grateful that [the musicians] all contributed their personalities and individual voices to the final product, while taking great care to perfect the intricate details of the arrangements. This is the highest compliment they could have offered me. From the singing, to the improvised solos, to the ensemble passages, each musician infused this album with character. There are no “throw-away” notes and every phrase lifts you to the next. This is only achieved with a level of experience, professionalism, and love of the genre that is staggering.”
The Danny Jonokuchi Big Band features Andrew Gould (Alto Sax, Flute), Christopher McBride (Alto Sax, Flute), Chris Oatts (Alto Sax, Flute), Jon Beshay (Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet), Chris Lewis (Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet), Andrew Gutauskas (Baritone Sax, Flute, Bass Clarinet), trumpeters Nick Marchione (lead trumpet) Sam Hoyt, John Lake, James Zollar, Scott Wendholt, Noah Halpern, Bruce Harris, trombonists Robert Edwards, Sara Jacovino, Jason Jackson, Reginald Chapman (bass trombone), pianist Jeb Patton, bassist Samuel Harris, drummer Kevin Congleton and percussionist Víctor Pablo. The album features special guest vocalists Alexa Barchini, Tahira Clayton, Nicole Zuraitis, Brianna Thomas, Shenel Johns, Alita Moses, Charles Turner, Lucy Yeghiazaryan, Sirintip, Martina DaSilva, Hannah Gill
- The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else) (2:53) Feat. Alexa Barchini (Isham Jones & Gus Kahn)
- All of Me (3:12) Feat. Tahira Clayton (Gerald Marks & Seymour Simons)
- Social Call (3:07) Feat. Nicole Zuraitis (Gigi Gryce & Jon Hendricks)
- Summertime (5:43) Feat. Brianna Thomas (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward)
- You Turned the Tables on Me (3:35) Feat. Shenel Johns (Louis Alter & Sidney D. Mitchell)
- What a Difference a Day Made (4:25) Feat. Alita Moses (Maria Grever & Stanley Adams)
- Blame It on My Youth (5:06) Feat. Charles Turner (Oscar Levant & Edward Heyman)
- Born to Be Blue (5:47) Feat. Lucy Yeghiazaryan (Mel Tormé & Robert Wells)
- So Many Stars (4:43) Feat. Sirintip (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, & Sérgio Mendez)
- All or Nothing at All (4:42) Feat. Martina DaSilva (Arthur Altman & Jack Lawrence)
- I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So (4:14) Feat. Hannah Gill (Duke Ellington & Mack David)