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The best kept secret in music


"Shapes Quotes"

"I've been playing 'The Last Farewell' for a few months and have often said on air that Shapes could possibly be the next super group. It's seldom that we get a CD that is so musical that every track is playable and I do play all the tracks."
Don Gordon, KIPO, Honolulu, HI

“I thoroughly enjoyed producing ‘The Last Farewell’. It’s a wonderful body of work by a great band and some great guests including Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Russell Ferrante and myself. This beautiful project speaks for itself.”
Jimmy Haslip ¬¬– The Yellowjackets

"Tollak is a multi-threat on today's scene as composer, keyboardist, vocalist. I am very impressed with his playing and composing. His musicianship goes from jazz to rock AND he plays blues AND chromatic harp!! A superficial analysis shows allegiance to Stevie Wonder, but he really has "his own thing," very impressive!! 'Night Bloom' is beautiful and all of the musicians are great! It shows fresh harmony. We all can learn and expect a lot from Tollak!"
Toots Thielemans – Harmonica Player

“Shapes illuminates the essence of musical synergies in the ensemble’s wide arc of creative expression. From traditional roots and idioms to exploratory edges, the original pieces contributed by Roger Burn, Michael Higgins and Tollak Ollestad add to the allure and listener-friendliness of this standout CD!”
Dr. Herb Wong – Past-President, IAJE (International Assn. Of Jazz Education)

"The new Shapes CD, 'The Last Farewell', is fresh, alive, musical and filled withall the elements of good music and jazz. It is also beautifully produced. My compliments to Roger Burn."
John Pisano – Legendary L.A. Session Guitarist

“The Last Farewell" may sound like an odd title for a debut recording, but after listening to their fresh and unique sounds, I'm convinced that the group "Shapes" is definitely here to stay.
Afro American Syndicate

“True to their name, Shapes takes some fanciful twists on all conventional definitions of jazz, stirring up a visionary blend of mainstream bop, bossa nova, sambas, pop ballads and even a hint of (gasp!) country music. Focused on the joy of making music, these top L.A. cats--produced by world-class bassist Jimmy Haslip--have a blast, go wild, jam heartily and create something truly transcendent.”
Jonathan Widran – Jazziz Magazine

“Shapes is the kind of band that I would pay to go and see play the music that I love. Their treatment of the tunes that they played was intense and provocative. I dare say that I was impressed.”
James Janisse – KKJZ FM 88.1 Program Host

This outfit succeeds at dispelling the occasional prejudices associated with commercially oriented, radio friendly jazz, where the musicians' collective, and widely accessible methodologies highlight the superior level of musicianship displayed from within.
Glenn Astarita – All Music Guide
- Various


Still working on that hot first release.



ROGER BURN (vibes/marimba/piano/composer/arranger)
Originally a drummer, he attended college at Cal State, Northridge in 1980 as a percussion major and also studied with legendary drum teacher, Freddie Gruber. He later studied piano, vibes, marimba and composition with the late, great Victor Feldman. Burn�s credits include appearances as a keyboardist on The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, The John Stewart Show, The Howie Mandel Show, The Magic Johnson Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Martin Short Show, Penn & Teller�s Sin City, Motown Live, Lou Rawls� United Negro College Fund Show, The Next Big Star with host, Ed McMahon and The Grammy Awards with artists such as Vanessa Williams, Lionel Richie, Lou Bega, Ashford & Simpson, The Brian Setzer Orchestra and Bryan Adams. He has also worked with Barry Manilow, Ambrosia, Chaka Kahn, Shelia E., Stevie Nicks, Richard Marx and Seal. As a session musician, he�s played on motion picture soundtracks such as The Mask, Another Stakeout, McHale�s Navy, The Nanny, Freaky Friday and Sideways. He has also played on gold and platinum albums, including a gold with The Brian Setzer Orchestra on The Songs Of Westside Story, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein and again with Setzer�s orchestra on the double platinum, double Grammy-winning Jump, Jive & Wail. Burn also recorded with The Wild Colonials and played vibes on two tracks from former Yellowjackets and Steely Dan drummer Ricky Lawson�s debut cd. He has played keyboards, piano and vibes on jingles for such brand names as Target, Cadillac, Dodge, Toyota, Acura, Pediasure and United Airlines and has also been heard on such television shows as The Gary Shandling Show, Beverly Hills 90210, The Pretender, Melrose Place, Spin City, Ed, The Drew Carey Show, Meet The Press, Politically Incorrect and recently contributed his compositional skills to the critically acclaimed drama series American Dreams. His vibraphone playing can be heard on the Academy Award winning hit film, Sideways� and is one of the principle members of the Sideways Jazz Orchestra. Roger is also a staff composer for Megatrax, one of world�s largest library music houses and his compositions are heard all over the world on a daily basis. Since January of 1997 he has been an instructor at The Musicians Institute in Hollywood where he teaches courses in sight reading, how to build a keyboard rig and even a class called �Musical Director Workshop.�

TOLLAK OLLESTAD (harmonica/vocals/composer)
As Shapes� secret weapon, he shows remarkable command of both chromatic and blues harmonicas while also contributing vocals and compositions to the group. He has performed and or toured with Michael McDonald, Don Henley, Kenny Loggins, Jewel, Seal, Desiree, Ambrosia, Sheena Easton, Chet Atkins and Tanya Tucker. He has also recorded solos on albums for artists such as Brian McKnight, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Bebe Winans, Dave Grusin, Earth, Wind & Fire, Christopher Cross, Billy Idol, Gino Vanelli, Melissa Manchester, Will Downing, Brenda Russell, John Tesh and the all girl rock group, Antigone Rising. He has appeared on a few episodes of The Drew Carey Show as well as having played theme music for ABC�s Good Morning America. He also played the harmonica on the soundtrack for the popular 90�s show Northern Exposure. Tollak released his first solo cd, Walk The Earth, just before moving to Holland in May of 2004. Burn says of Ollestad, �He and I met on a silly little wedding gig, back in the days when I still did drum gigs. But, it wasn�t until about five years later that we really started to get to know each other. I marvel at Tollak�s talent and what�s really scary is, in addition to being one of the main composers for Shapes, that he�s also a hell of a good piano player as well as a great singer, too. He�s the perfect guy for this band and I love working with him!�

ANDY SUZUKI (reeds/reed arrangements)
A member of David Benoit�s touring band, he�s also performed, toured and or recorded with Dave Brubeck, Carl Anderson, Cecilia Noel, Hiroshima, Kilauea, Rick Braun, Pat Kelley and Grant Geissman. His film and television credits include George of The Jungle as well as Northern Exposure, Beverly Hills 90210 as well as shows on Nickelodeon, The Spice and The Playboy Channels. He released his second solo cd earlier this year. He�s an integral part of Shapes with his exquisite reed arrangements, incorporating flutes, alto flutes, clarinets, bass clarinet as well as soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. Says Burn, �His arrangements are perfect because I prefer to not lean on the crutch of using synthesizers to create lush pads. I could have done all of the arrangements myself, but Andy has a perfect sense of what�s needed and as a composer/arranger himself, he seems to know what I want and then gives me something even better. We have a great working chemistry, not to mention that it�s nice