Keys To The City Vols. 1 & 2 NYEP’s
spring release, spent 3 weeks in the CMJ’s Top Ten. Thanks to all the DJs
out there who spun the record so heavily. We appreciate your support!
Just like the universe, NYEP is expanding. The original trio
of pianist Pat Daugherty, bassist Tim Givens, and drummer Aaron
Comess, which grew to 6 members for their last release ,now
includes guitarist Teddy Kumpel and hornman Erik Lawrence. After
three instrumental releases that probed the Fender Rhodes electric piano
sound, 2008’s King Mystery featured vocals, acoustic piano, and a diverse
set of Daugherty originals that embraced jazz’s past while exploring its
future. The new double CD, Keys To The City, continues this trend and takes
the band into new musical terrain.
The expansion began as NYEP played out their 2007 release
Blues in Full Moon. Leon Gruenbaum, keyboardist with Vernon Reid and James
“Blood” Ulmer, began showing up at the bands gigs. “Leon is one of my
favorite players and I invited him to bring his ax and sit in”, Pat says.
“He did and has never left!” His axe is an instrument of his own creation,
the Samchillian. In the early 90’s Pat and Leon shared the piano chair at
vocalist Deanna Kirk’s NY restaurant, a jazz spot that was the center of a
One night at a Cutting Room gig Deanna, who has performed with Eartha Kitt
and Cecil Taylor, sat in on Pat’s song “Why are we here?” The crowd
was mesmerized and that song found its way onto King Mystery Deanna had
become part of the band. Soon vocalist Ava Farber was coming to the band’s
gigs and as the vocal selections increased she found her way into the band.
Pat has known guitar wizard Teddy Kumpel for a decade in the East Village
and is a fan of his trio and finally asked Teddy to play with the band and
thankfully he agreed! NYEP fans have embraced his contributions with
enthusiasm. For this new recording Erik Lawrence , a stalwart of the scene
who has played with Aaron, Tim, Teddy, and Deanna in various
configurations, came in and played saxes and flute and his presence is
Suddenly all these musicians with a shared sense of community
have become the new NYEP. Their chemistry on Keys To The City is boundless
and not to be missed. Bill Milkowski has said of NYEP, “From start to
finish, this highly interactive trio grooves with crackling intensity and a
rare degree of group think”.