E. J. Decker
A lush, blues-edged baritone, a soulful spin on a lyric, ranging from penthouse to roadhouse. E.J. creates a moody, sensual ambiancetender one moment, forceful the next. Arthur Prysock w/ a dash of Bill Medley, a hint of Elvis. Yet 100% E. J.
On the player above, hear five tracks from E. J.'s earlier album, WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS..., which E. J. also arranged & produced. But be sure to play them loud, as the gods intended!
E. J.'s new album, A JOB OF WORK (Tales of the Great Recession, focuses on the current financial disaster & its impact on different people. NOW AVAILABLE on CDBaby.com, Amazon.com & iTunes!
E. J. Decker / REVIEWS & BIOGRAPHY
From a review for
WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS...
4 Stars: "... a strong voice touched by that of Billy Eckstine ..."
Scott Yanow, ALL MUSIC GUIDE
From reviews for
A JOB OF WORK (Tales of the Great Recession)
"... Decker takes steps to make it count and stand out as well. A wild set of quiet fire that has 'after hours' written all over it ..."
Chris Spector, MIDWEST RECORD
"A well thought out and beautifully arranged CD ..."
Elliott Ames, WVOX
"... It might be that often lower-register voice, or it might be the unavoidably masculine atmosphere he can't help but occupy (again that honesty: ya gotta be what ya are), or perhaps it's the metropolitan Humanism that pervades his work. Whatever it is, it fascinates because it melds the common with the exotic, in a perfect cross of the urban mundane alongside an aesthetic that refuses to die."
Mark S. Tucker, FAME (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange)
E. J. Decker is a large man with a big voice. A jazz baritone from the Billy Eckstine / Johnny Hartman / Arthur Prysock / Joe Williams school of low notes, E. J. grew up the youngest in a musical household: his mother was a pianist, and his father a big band singer, who sang briefly with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in the months before they hired Sinatra and who often played early jazz & Big Band recordings for his sons. His brothers later introduced him to '50s R&B, rock & roll and '60s jazz and folk music.
While still in his teens, E. J. sought out his heroes in nightclubs and concerts around NYC, catching live performances by Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis, Jr., Thelonious Monk, Oscar Brown, Jr., Jimmy Smith, the original Dave Brubeck Qrt. and Alberta Hunter as well as Leon Russell, Richie Havens, Tom Rush, Genya Ravan & Ten Wheel Drive, Leonard Cohen, the Association, Janis Ian, Tom Paxton, the Byrds and the Jefferson Airplane. He learned much from all of them, stole much from many of them and began finding his own voice.
E. J. later sang in rock bands and R&B groups on both coasts, and spent years on the folk music circuit, playing festivals and cafés up and down the West Coast. In the 1980s, he also acted in theater and on television, appearing regularly on NBC's now-departed soap opera, "Texas."
E. J. eventually "came home" to his father's material filtering it through all the sounds he had heard along the way.
Today, E. J. glides easily from jazz through pop to standards to rock to folk to '50s R&B to blues and is among the strongest, purest male interpreters of ballads of this generation all while maintaining a consistency of sound and feel that marks it immediately as an E. J. Decker piece. As reviewers and fans alike often point out, due to his deep, rich voice, he definitely has his own sound.
When he performs live, any given set may contain songs by writers as diverse as the Gershwins, Cole Porter or Billy Strayhorn. Or just as possibly, Tom Paxton, Ivory Joe Hunter, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, or the Beatles or even one of his original compositions each filtered through E. J.'s singular sensibility. Given his unique background, it's little surprise that E. J.'s style has been described as "biker Gershwin."
E. J. has sung in festivals, concerts and in most of the jazz venues of New York, including: Birdland (both uptown and midtown), Js, The Garage, Enzo's Jazz, The Cornelia St. Cafe, Sweet Rhythm, Cleopatras Needle, The Squire, The Bacchus Room, The Triad, The Savoy, Chez Suzette, The Redeye Grill and Zinnos, among others. He also stands as one of the very few vocalists ever booked into the legendary Columbia University-area jazz haunt, Augies which evolved into the jazz club, Smoke.
E. J. has sung with a wide array of talents, such as Randy Sandke, Eric Lewis (ELEW), Benny Powell, David Lahm, James Weidman, Manny Duran, Dena DeRose, Bob Kindred, Eric McPherson, Claire Daly, Joe Vincent Tranchina, Ratzo Harris, Dave Hofstra, Christopher Dean Sullivan, Tom Melito, Peggy Stern, Les Kurtz, Elizabeth Frascoia, Sean Smith, Tom Melito and Saadi Zain, as well as the late Terri Thornton and Johnny "Tasty" Parker among others.
E. J. was surprised and honored years ago when the owner of the famous NYC Chelsea-area club, The Squire, personally booked him from among all of the many talented artists who had played there over the years to sing the final song on the clubs closing night.
Formed in 2002, The September Concert is a
Bookings can range from a single, one hour set to two to three sets.
E. J. has an eclectic style and an extensive song list that mixes jazz takes on such as "How To Handle A Woman," "Sea Cruise" and "You Don't Know Me," with tunes by writers as diverse as Duke Ellington and Tim Hardin; Clyde Otis and Cole Porter. Any set may contain jazz with pop, folk, blues or R&B elements.