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Traveler, the debut album from Bob Gingery, is out now on Fresh Sound New Talent Records. It features eight original compositions by Gingery along with his longtime band: Jon Irabagon - saxophones (winner of 2008 Thelonious Monk competition), Mike Baggetta - guitar and Mark Ferber - drums.

Gingery shares how his band and the project came together. I knew the vibe I was looking for would be there with this band, as each of these guys has a sound that is not only big but also beautiful. There’s a certain sense of adventure that you can hear in the sound of musicians who have experience with free improvisation when they are playing over set harmonies. Most of the improvisation on this album is based on chord changes and set forms, but you can hear the freedom these players bring to the full range of music I wanted to explore.

The music on this recording reconciles everything Gingery has taken in since he started playing. The compositions are based in jazz but also have elements of rock, blues and folk combined with more modern harmonies. “Second Nature” is a good example of this blend. In the song “Wheeling,” he tries to capture the aura of one of his favorite composers, the late Kenny Wheeler. “Boot Hill,” with its big backbeat, is another nod to Gingery’s love of rock music. The longer form and knotty chord changes make things interesting. The title track started with the idea of using Travis Picking, a guitar technique in traditional American folk music, over a 5/4 time signature and modern harmonies. The wide-open vamp in “Inland Empire” was his attempt to spur the players outside the changes. Gingery spent several years playing with a New Orleans funk band whose influence comes out in the groove of “Three Legged Dog.” “Past Lives” features some Coltrane inspired harmonies. The closing tune “Cadence” is another written with Wheeler in mind.

Originally from the San Francisco bay area, Gingery began playing the saxophone at age 10 but the sounds of James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia, and Jaco Pastorius inspired him to pick up the bass guitar. He was soon gigging with local rock bands and playing in his high school's jazz band. At age 18, he began studying the upright bass. Since his arrival to New York in 1999, he has been performing with some of the city's top musicians including Eliot Zigmund, Joe Beck, Buddy Williams, Allan Harris, Ron Affif, Brad Shepik and Lou Volpe. He has played the Blue Note, Birdland, the Hartford International Jazz Festival, Joe's Pub and the Knitting Factory. Maintaining a busy schedule as both a sideman and band leader, he is at home with many styles of music and has performed and recorded with jazz, rock, pop, R&B and Latin artists, musicals and symphony orchestras.


Gingery is also active as an educator. He is a faculty member at Concordia Conservatory in Bronxville, NY and the Brearley School in New York, NY. He holds undergraduate degrees in music from Berklee College of Music and California State University, Chico and a masters degree in music from the City College of New York where he studied with Ron Carter, John Patitucci, and Geri Allen.





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2015 Bob Gingery