Live at the Side Door
Street Date: March 17, 2023
Esteemed jazz drummer and composer Vince Ector presents Vince Ector Organatomy Trio+ – Live at the Side Door. This electrifying follow up to 2019’s critically-acclaimed Theme For Ms. P captures the stellar Philadelphia bred/NY based jazz outfit’s January 2020 performance at the iconic Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, Connecticut. As ever, the group’s sound is centered around the great organ-centric Philadelphia jazz tradition, an idiom through which Ector gained his renown, acting as the driving rhythmic pulse behind generations of Philly jazz greats. Live at the Side Door is dedicated to the memory of the great Joey DeFrancesco who, prior to his passing, encouraged Ector to share this live recording with the world. This adventurous, soulful outing features Ector alongside organ great Pat Bianchi, celebrated guitarist Paul Bollenback and fiery up-and-coming saxophonist Justin Jones.
Ector reflects: “When we stepped into The Side Door in January 2020, we never expected that the world as we knew it would soon experience a seismic shift”. Ector had recently embarked with the Organatomy Trio+ on a NorthEast tour in support of his recent recording entitled Theme for Ms. P which had recently been recognized as one of the top ten most requested recordings on the SiriusXM Real Jazz station for 2019. Ector continued, “The Side Door was a one-night engagement and when our dear friend, jazz advocate and Side Door owner Ken Kitchings asked if we would mind if they recorded the evening, I never hesitated to say “of course”! I was on a cloud that Friday evening! Everything that you hear on this recording was captured in one take as it was intended for the audience that evening and encompasses material spanning my last 4 recordings as a leader.”
Ector’s debut Side Door performance as a bandleader would mark one of the last performances of the group before the pandemic brought live music to a sudden decrescendo. The album remains a stunning document of the group’s creative output and of the live concert atmosphere that was so sorely missed in the many months to follow. “This is our gift to those who love the music we make and is dedicated to those we lost since the pandemic struck.” The performance features the core Organatomy Trio+ members with the exception of saxophonist Bruce Williams, due to his recovery from a recent surgery. Williams was replaced for the evening by young lion Justin Jones. Ector remarked, “That evening, Justin was thoroughly prepared and a welcome addition to our growing Organatomy family!”
On Live at the Side Door, Ector’s Organatomy Trio+ celebrates the great lineage of Philadelphia jazz through the evocative compositions of Ector, one of Philadelphia’s most prolific sons. The evening began with “South Philly Groove”, an anthemic hard-bop-fueled piece which highlights the group’s interplay, attention to nuance and soulful sound. The following tune, “Sister Ruth” features formidable solos from both Jones and Bianchi. “The Courtship” strikes a more sentimental chord, with a lush melody from Jones supported beautifully by Ector’s steadfast rhythm section. The group continues with Ector’s fiery arrangement of the Dizzy Gillespie classic “Con Alma”, a true ensemble piece which features solos from Jones, Bianchi and Bollenback, and masterful rhythmic ingenuity from Ector throughout.
Other highlights include the vivacious “Renewal Revisited” featuring overdriven solo-work from Bollenback and tightly-arranged feel changes from the rhythm section. “Wives and Lovers”, featuring a tremendously jubilant solo from Bianchi, begins with an incredible display of rhythmic invention from Ector following up to a soulful triple-meter exploration, closing out the album on a high.
Capturing the raucous triumph and masterful refinement of the Organatomy Trio+’s live performance aesthetic, Live at the Side Door is a love letter to live music, to the rich legacy of Philadelphia jazz, and to the current vibrancy of the jazz world. Ector remarks “Please continue to support live music, it is a true healing for that we can share with each other.”
Theme for Ms. P
Street Date: June 21, 2019
With Organatomy Trio+
Featuring Vince Ector (drums), Bruce Williams (alto & soprano saxophone), Pat Bianchi (organ) plus Special Guest, Paul Bollenback (guitar)
On their debut iteration as a group - Ector's fourth as a leader - Organatomy honors the organ tradition with love and respect. This eight-track collection - produced by Ector and Jack Kreisberg - offers a snapshot into the musical upbringing of the bandleader, composer, arranger and drummer. On Theme for Ms. P - the title track of which is dedicated to Ector’s mother “Ms. Pat” - “the South Philadelphia-native is wistful for times less serious, the days of his youth, when TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia), that marriage of funk and soul that Philadelphia exported around the globe, was the most important thing in Ector’s much smaller world,” WRTI’s Matt Silver reviews. Offering both refreshing, reimagined arrangements of Philadelphia-inspired gems, as well as original, introspective compositions - all of which are representative of Ector’s youth - Theme for Ms. P is a swinging, soulful recording throughout.
Jazz Album of the Week: Theme for Ms. P is a Nostalgic Window into Vince Ector’s Musical Coming of Age
Matt Silver, WRTI
Ector showcases his arranging skills on the album’s opening track - the classic soul tune “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” originally composed by Bobby Eli and Vinnie Barrett, becoming a hit 1975 single for Major Harris. It reminds Vince that a “well written love song can transcend genres and invoke lost memories...” Recorded in one day - what can only be a result of the simpatico nature evident between each of the band members - Theme for Ms. P comprises of three original compositions. The first Ector-penned tune heard on the album is track two, “Dex Blues,” which was written for his sister, Linda Dexter. Here, Ector reflects upon the difficulty one might have in soloing over this tune alongside his childhood relationship with his sister - “a tricky one to solo on because of the key, which kind of sums up our childhood relationship. Since we were so far apart in age, we didn’t get to spend too much time together at home like most siblings. We got to know more about each other later on in our lives as young adults.”
Another stand out track from the album is the Benny Carter-penned tune, “The Courtship.” First introduced to Ector whilst taking piano lessons with James Weidman, the track conjures up childhood memories of his parents dancing together at home. On the arrangement heard here, Ector explains, “I decided to put a “Maiden Voyage” type vamp in the rhythm section to pay homage to Herbie [Hancock] while keeping the integrity of the tune.” Theme for Ms. P is drawn to a close with “Sister Ruth” - a Don Patterson composition which holds a special place in the drummer’s heart. Reminiscing upon many occasions when his father brought him to see Patterson at Dino’s Lounge in West Philly, Ector recalls, “seeing Don live had a tremendous impact on my approach to playing with an organ and prepared me for my first professional recording date, which was with “The Mighty Burner” Charles Earland. Charles also grew up in South Philly. That date was recorded at Van Gelder Studios where the song was originally recorded in 1964. I also knew the drummer, Billy James, quite well, when I was learning to play this music at Ortlieb’s Jazz House in Philly during the early 90’s before I came to NYC.”
Following on from this June 21st release, Ector is now excited to embark upon a restless schedule of international live dates across New York, Maryland, Taiwan, New Jersey, Georgia, and Philadelphia. Not only will this multi-city itinerary see Ector bring his Organatomy Trio out on the road, it will present the in-demand sideman as part of The Houston Person Quartet, The Stanley Cowell Quintet, The Antonio Hart Quartet and The TK Blue Quintet. Ector’s 2020 schedule will kick off with The Jazz Cruise 2020. Dates will be announced shortly.
MORE ABOUT VINCE ECTOR
Vince Ector is one of the leading drummers on the jazz scene today. A listing of major artists he has performed with in concert and on recordings reads like a ‘who's who’ in the world of jazz, such as Randy Weston, Freddy Hubbard, Hank Jones, Charles Earland, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Gloria Lynne, Houston Person, Bobby Watson, Lou Donaldson, Stanley Cowell, Antonio Hart, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Pat Martino, Ron Carter, Claudio Roditi, and The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Stars & Big Band. His recordings as a leader include Theme for Ms. P, Organatomy, Renewal of the Spirit and Rhythm Master. He is also featured on over 50 recordings. Vince Ector has performed at many of the world’s leading jazz festivals, theatres and jazz clubs and is highly active in the music education field. Ector is a Lecturer of Music at Princeton University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Arts For Kids Inc., a not-for-profit Arts-in-Education organisation providing workshops, performances and professional development in Music, Dance, Drama, Visual Art and Technology for schools and community-based organizations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (www.artsforkidsinc.org). His many awards include numerous ASCAP Plus Awards, NY City Council Citation, NJ State Council on the Arts Teaching Artist in Music designation and a Puffin Foundation Artist Grant Award. He is also a Mapex Drums, Zildjian Cymbal, Vic Firth and Humes & Berg endorsed artist.
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for Live at the Side Door
"Live concert albums can be a combination of aural snapshots and mini-time capsules. For drummer Vince Ector, his LIVE @ The Side Door (Cabo Verde Records) is both — along with several extra layers of emotional resonance." Read the feature here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"An excellent release for B3 aficionados and anyone who loves to swing." Read the review here.
"Ector's drumming bubbles with excitement, set up figures with aplomb, and inspired his band to create some memorable music." Read the review in the May 2023 issue.
"Recorded in January 2020, it also marked the historic transition of eras. And when played after its March 2023 release, LIVE @ The Side Door pays tribute to two fallen titans." Read the review here.
"Everything here was recorded on a single take, and that reflects the massive skill present and consists of music across Ector’s last 4 records as a leader, which captures some first rate East Coast jazz." Read the full review here.
for Theme for Ms. P
"Growing up in Philadelphia, Vince Ector recorded his first album under the leadership of organist Charles Earland and the music here reflects that kind of ambience, with originals mixed with tunes from beyond the usual orbit". Read the full review here.
"Ector has extensive creditsin soulful mainstream jazz and his band captures the earthy intelligence of its lounge-bar roots." Read the full review here.
"Not transcendent and not intergalactic, Theme for Ms. P affirms that the most populated plane of existence still has plenty to offer, including relaxed, nostalgic, ultra-competent jazz by some of the best doing it today." Feature here.
DON JAY SMITH
"His music blends jazz, funk and pop, reflecting his diverse tastes." Article here.
"...Ector is crisp and clear, leading the team on a sleek shuffle on the bopping “Love Won’t Let Me Wait”..." Read the full review here.
"Ector’s drumming is a wonder to listen to, and to watch. Sitting easily on his stool, his arm action is relaxed, precise, delicate. The angles and diagonals in his movements reminded this listener of diagrams of Hindu yantras — exact, meaningful, and resonance-making." Feature here.