3 Central
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3 Central

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Gospel

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"3 Central: A Feelin' Inside Review"

Several years ago, saxophonist Russell Moore of St. Louis recruited his multi-instrumentalist brother Everett and keyboardist Ken Anderson to perform as a wedding band. The trio began picking up more gigs, morphed into 3 Central, and in 2002 was named St. Louis’s Best Contemporary Jazz Artist.

Leaving standard wedding fare far behind, the trio now combines their estimable skills to produce gospel jazz, a new-ish genre that has planted its standard firmly on the sacred landscape.

On its debut CD, A Feelin’ Inside, 3 Central demonstrates tight musicianship, undoubtedly the result of countless hours performing together. Russ Moore leads most of the tracks, his syrupy sweet sax technique reminiscent of Kenny G and Mindi Abair. The album’s production is top-notch, the melodies are round and bright, and the overall vibe is pleasant and comforting, like a Sunday evening chill-down.

Here's the rub: for those (like me) who think too much, what constitutes “inspirational jazz” or “gospel jazz” is challenging. One could argue that all jazz is inspirational, if it moves you in the right way.

My assessment is that the appellation best fits music that either jazzes known hymns or gospel songs, or new jazz compositions that incorporate religious lyrics. When it comes to instrumental selections, however, it is difficult to distinguish between gospel, or inspirational, jazz and smooth jazz. It all sounds pretty much the same to me. Vintage instrumentals with a religious theme, such as Horace Silver’s whimsical “The Preacher,” were classified as jazz, sans clarifier.

On A Feelin’ Inside, “You Are Lord” and “In Your Presence” squarely fit the above definition, as they feature an ambient chorus of females that chants prayerful phrases in hypnotic harmony. So does “I Think of You,” a lovely song about finding God in nature that features the lithe vocals of Pamela Major. Otherwise the album's instrumentals are well-orchestrated and relaxing but sound like standard-issue smooth jazz.
Nevertheless, whether you like smooth or inspirational jazz, you will like 3 Central's A Feelin' Inside.

Picks: “I Think Of You,” “You are Lord.” - TheBlackGospelBlog.com


"Gifted Gospel Jazz Group, 3 Central, Takes Local Ministry Nationwide With “A Feelin’ Inside”"

Gospel Jazz is a genre that’s busting out at the seams. Artists are expressing their spirituality in jazzy tones and gaining legions of fans along the way. 3 Central, consisting of Ken Anderson, Everett Moore and Russell Moore, are three men on a mission to spread the love of Christ through powerful instrumental and inspirational music. Hailing from St. Louis, MO, the group has been one of the most sought-after Gospel Jazz groups in the region earning the Best Contemporary Jazz Artist Award in St. Louis Award (2002). They’ve opened for such artists as Gerald Albright, Kem, Eric Benet and The Emotions.

But it’s their latest debut release, A Feelin’ Inside that is having the gospel industry rave about the trio. Herb Spencer of Clear Channel’s WCAO (Heaven 600) in Baltimore and Host of Instruments of Praise says, “Listening to the latest single from 3 Central, ‘Follow Your Heart’, the group’s sound puts me in the mindset of the contemporary jazz sound of the group Foreplay. This selection has a smooth groove to it that makes you want to bob your head and say, ‘Now that’s niiiice!’”

Dr. Tracy Scott, President of WPJC.FM in Illinois says, “Anyone who has the pleasure of experiencing 3 Central’s wonderful music ministry will undoubtedly echo the praises of everyone who attended the WPJC.FM Concert. Our station has been flooded with calls and emails from those who witnessed first-hand the power of 3 Central’s praise. After the performance, testimonies, comments and demonstrations of worship made it clear that hearts had been transformed, spirits had been lifted and lives had been changed. There was no doubt that God was with us and that He was pleased.”

It’s apparent that these young men are much more than just great musicians. A Feelin’ Inside is the group’s testament to that fact. Their most recent project features sanctified instrumental grooves and slow solemn worship tunes. 3 Central knows how to give praise to God through a smooth and comforting sound. All of the members of the group not only are the instrumentalists – Ken Anderson as the keyboardist, arranger and producer, Everett Moore as the drummer and guitarist and Russ Moore as the saxophonist – but they are all principle songwriters as well. Songs like the uplifting “Follow Your Heart“, the relaxing “Island Sunrise” and the stunning remake of “It Might Be You (All Of My Life)” make this group one to be reckoned with in Gospel Jazz. For more information about 3 Central, go to www.threecentral.com. - Press Release


"Comments from threecentral.com"

Sorry for the late response! But , once again, you guys show up and show out! Enjoyed you on Dec. 18th at Robbie's House of Jazz. Thank you again for such a wonderful performance. God bless you all! Have a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous Happy New Year! - Doris DJAZZY Barge 2009.12.24 09:23


"Comments from threecentral.com"

After that extraordinary performance at the Vaughn Cultural Center, I went to the calendar for the next events. You guys should be booked solid, you are St. Louis best kept secret, sorry I'm spreading the news you guys are so good. Your music does touch the spirit and soul, Saturday the people missed the best concert ever. You guys light a candle to any guest I've seen at the Pageant .Thank you for sharing your God given talents, Russell I've always loved the saxophone, you are an inspiration to me to follow that desire. Maybe one day I will play to the glory of God. Thank you again, my humble and talented brothers for your precious gifts! Continue in God's grace. Peace of God be upon you all. Best regards! - Doris DJAZZY Barge 2009.10.19 06:57


"Comments from threecentral.com"

drn 2009.3.7 12:19
Hey Guy's, i haven't stopped playing this CD since i bought it. I used track #5 for my wedding(if u don't know what that is buy the cd)it was truely amazing. May God continue to bless you. I hope to see you at the Grammies next year. U r Awsome - drn 2009.3.7 12:19


"Manager of St. Louis Jazz Cafe"

Tim Sims 2008.12.31 23:27
For the music affecienado, this is a MASTERPIECE! If you consider yourself learned, and appreciative of the art & science of music, you would agree most wholeheartedly. A must have for your library............ A rare commodity these days.....is truly exceptional music, in any genre, but this work is beyond genre,.....it is truly Heaven sent. Thank You Brothers, for sharing your gifts with us - Tim Sims 2008.12.31 23:27


"Radio Host 690 AM St. Louis"

Gregg Haynes 2008.11.29 12:18
Thank God you guys didn't settle for mediocrity! The New CD "A Feelin' Inside" was well worth the wait!!!!! The CD is Hot!! I mean it's Blazin' !!!!!!
- Gregg "Happy Guitar" Haynes


Discography

Debut CD: "A Feelin' Inside" released in 2009. Available on iTunes, Amazon, Napster and Rhapsody and others. Clips streaming on www.threecentral.com. Full songs streaming on www.myspace.com/3central and www.reverbnation.com/3central.

Photos

Bio

The word “central” is defined as “constituting something from which other related things proceed or upon which they depend” or “principal, chief, or dominant”. The term perfectly represents three young men. 3 Central, consisting of Ken Anderson, Everett Moore and Russell Moore, is an amazingly-gifted instrumental group taking the world by storm with their unique style of inspirational smooth jazz. Hailing from St. Louis, the award-winning group is already receiving rave reviews from fans and radio programmers alike for their spirited and life-changing music and live performances. Having opened for artists such as Gerald Albright, Kem, Eric Benet and The Emotions, the trio of musicians – Ken on keyboards, Everett on drums and guitar and Russ on saxophone, has solidified their presence in the smooth jazz genre with their debut release entitled A Feelin’ Inside.

The new CD is a stunning collection of powerful and uplifting songs of inspiration. Up-tempo and smoothed out jazz is the group’s forte and they shine brightly on the debut release. A Feelin’ Inside, produced by Ken Anderson and songwriting by all the members of 3 Central, is a celebration of love and an expression of the heart of these three young men. Although the project took 3 years to complete, in this case, good things do come to those who wait. Songs like the memorable “Follow Your Heart”, the mesmerizing “Talk To Me”, the classic “It Might Be You (All Of My Life)” and the tranquil “Island Sunrise” provide the lover of great music an opportunity to be inspired and relax at the same time.

One of those “pop-it-in-and-let-it-play” CDs, the creation of A Feelin’ Inside was a labor of love and a lesson in perseverance. Although all night studio sessions were not uncommon, incredibly, most of the CD was recorded on the first take. Russ attributes it to the high emotion and intense passion that was present during the recording. “If you listen closely to the music, you can hear my teardrops falling on my saxophone,” says Russ. “We refused to remove it from the track. As Ken was mixing the songs, he felt the same inspiration. It was awesome.”

It’s hard to believe that 3 Central’s origins began so simply. The group initially got started as a wedding band when Russ was looking for a keyboard player to accompany him. He reached out to Ken, who he already knew as an excellent keyboardist, along with his brother, Everett, and the three hooked up to form a group. They quickly became a hit securing engagement after engagement in the St. Louis area and eventually Russ thought it would be a good idea for the trio to record. “At the time, there was some hesitancy,” shares Russ, “since some of us had been in other groups previously. But they decided to move ahead and officially became a group, eventually settling on the name 3 Central.

Things moved even quicker for the group when Russ submitted a CD with a few of the group’s songs for a contest at a local jazz station. The station loved the songs and the trio won the contest. They’ve also been named the 2002 Best Contemporary Jazz Artist in St. Louis and have won the BGI Connections Web Scene Award. The trio is big on giving back and 3 Central has played for organizations such as the United Way, Families Feeding Families, the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation and the Urban League of St. Louis. They’ve had notable television and radio appearances including The Best of St. Louis, I Love Jazz with Don Wolfe and on St. Louis’ CBS affiliate, KMOV.

They’ve done amazing things as a trio, but separately each member brings his own special touch and experience to 3 Central. Ken Anderson, keyboardist, got his start in music as a youngster. His first instrument was the trombone and he was awarded numerous times for his proficiency with the horn. As a teen, he toured internationally and played at the Montreux Jazz Festival. At the University of Kansas, he became the pianist for the school’s gospel choir and played with the jazz band and trombone choir. Upon graduation, Ken returned to St. Louis and ultimately ended up playing for the former Temptations singer, Dennis Edwards and writing and producing songs that aired on ABC’s All My Children.

Ken provides a unique flair to 3 Central. “As it pertains to our sound, I feel I bring creative direction through colorful themes and melodies throughout the music in addition to technical knowledge to present polished recordings,” says Ken. As the group’s producer, his expertise is responsible for the slick and clean sound that listeners hear on the group’s CD.

Like Ken, Everett began his love affair with music at a young age. With an affinity for the drums and guitar, he found himself creating instruments at the age of five. One of 11 children, and the product of a pastor, he is an expert at many instruments, but the drums “are his heart”. Hailing from a long line of singers and musicians, he honed his skills at church as a youth, but his