George Shelby
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George Shelby

Band Jazz Funk

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George Shelby is one of those musicians whom many more people have heard than know. As a first-call session player in Los Angeles, he has played his saxophone on records and TV shows bought, listened to and seen by millions.

His Jazz Bar gig on Monday was arguably a step down, profile-wise, from American Idol or dates with Shirley Bassey, Michael McDonald or even Crusader-turned-guitar hero Larry Carlton. Yet everything that got him those jobs and more was on show.

As befits a musician routinely required to produce a memorable line in an instant, there's a directness about Shelby's playing that, allied to strong tones on both alto and tenor, creates an immediate impact. Nothing sounds superficial or pat, however much rehearsal has gone into attaining his level of mobility, and what emerges is a stream of solos that genuinely strive to find something new and meaningful to say.

The London-based trio working with him on this UK tour couldn't have been more aptly chosen. Pianist and keyboardist Gareth Williams, bass guitarist Laurence Cottle and drummer Ian Thomas all have many flying hours in the good-groove-with-depth end of jazz, and they negotiated the tricky contours of Steely Dan's Josie, glided through Pat Metheny's easy-going It's Just Talk and smouldered on soul ballads with assurance.

Shelby clearly enjoyed working with them, whether it was "catching" Thomas's splash cymbal for good-natured emphasis or breaking off to duet with Cottle's big fingerstyle chords. And while the quartet's funky theme tune may well have been composed in situ, the second time they played it, it sounded ready to record. - Edinburgh Herald


Discography

"Oasis Of You"
"Touch"

Photos

Bio

George Shelby brings his soulful Sax, Flute, and Electronic Wind Instrument into every live performance. The group includes Russ Miller on drums, Vail Johnson on Bass, Stu Elster on Keys, and DJ Peyote Cody spinning the tracks. It is a mix of music ambience that sounds like everything and nothing you have heard before. Taking a classic Quincy Jones track, and Brazilian groove, and a Beatles standard, along with their original soundscapes. They perform in and around the tracks for a unique, funky, soulful, beautiful musical journey.

George Shelby:
Has performed on countless recording sessions, television shows and movies. But it is in his live performances that the soul really breaks out.
He has performed live:
With Bobby Caldwell, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Hallyday, Johnny Mathis, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Brian Culbertson, Keb Mo, Boz Scaggs, Jim Brickman, Michael McDonald, Sheena Easton, Melissa Manchester, Larry Carlton, CeCe Winans, Fred Hammond, Daniel Ho, Frankie Avalon, Shirley Bassey, Cybill Sheppard, Ann Jillian, and Brian Setzer.
CD and DVD credits:
From Hilary Duff's "Metamorphosis" to Bette Midler "Peggy Lee Tribute", Jacksoul, Lucy Pearl, Barry Manilow's ÒGreatest Songs of the FiftiesÓ, The West Side Story Tribute, Garden Party, three with Mike Sims, five with Russ Miller, four with Wah, three with Brian Setzer, Lifescapes, three of his own. His name and trademark soulful sound are probably somewhere in your collection. Along with movie soundtracks like Kung Fu Panda, Robots, Garfield, the Mask, Zoolah Patrol, the Frank Sinatra Story, Fortune Hunters, and many others.