CALVIN KEYS Blue Keys featuring legends Gary Bartz, and Steve Turre. On nine new recordings Calvin delivers outstanding guitar performances that clearly demonstrate why he is considered an all time great.
Joining Calvin are Black Jazz Records compatriot Henry Franklin, Gregory Howe (Throttle Elevator Music) and Strata East conga player Babatunde Lea.
"Calvin is a natural. His playing is so deep in the pocket, it comes off elegant and effortless." - Mercury News
4. At Arrival
5. Making Rain
5. Six to Seven
6. Blue Keys
Babatunde Lea, "Tunde," as he is known to intimates, has drawn immeasurable experience working with such singular stylists as Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, and a host of others.
Calvin Keys’ has played guitar with such greats as Eddie Cleanhead Vinson and bassist Gerald Holts. At age 17, he first hit the road with sax player Little Walkin’ Willie. Soon after, he worked with Preston Love, of the Count Basie Orchestra and The Frank Edwards Organ Trio. That foundation led to working with one of the greatest organ trios of all time‚ The Jimmy Smith Trio, and soon he was recording on the legendary Blackjazz record label. Soon afterwards, he was hired to record and tour with Ray Charles, and was the guitarist for Ray’s Big Band.
Doug Rowan is an American Saxophonist who has toured, recorded, and performed with many well known artists, including: Boz Scaggs, Average White Band, and the Pacific Mambo Orchestra. He plays flute tenor and baritone saxophone, and is a primary member on all five Wide Hive Players albums.
Gregory Howe founded Wide Hive Records in 1996. While primarily active as producer, mixer, and composer, Howe also performs guitar, synthesizer, turntable, voice and percussion on many recordings. From 1996 to 2011 Howe recorded and released albums for Dissent, Calvin Keys, Phil Ranelin (Pharoah Sanders, Henry Franklin, Big Black), Wide Hive Players and the incomparable artist and guitarist Larry Coryell.
Henry Franklin is a jazz double-bassist who is perhaps best known for his solo albums The Skipper and The Skipper at Home on cult label Blackjazz Records. Henry has also toured and recorded with Hugh Masekela on his 1968 number one single, "Grazing in the Grass," and played with Masekela’s band at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967.
Franklin has played and recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Bobbi Humphrey, Willie Bobo, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, O.C. Smith, and Al Jarreau.
Mike Blankenship is a Bay Area based keyboardist and artist currently composing and performing regularly with Michael Franti and Spearhead. He has also written and performed with Sheila E., Lauryn Hill and Ledisi.
Michael Hughes is an American drummer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied drumming at L.A. Music Academy with Joe Porcaro and Ralph Humphrey and spent a decade performing in LA with artists such as Tal Wilkenfeld, Frank Gambale, and Robben Ford. He is the drummer on "Heavy Feel" by Larry Coryell as well as Throttle Elevator Music's "Area J" and "Jagged Rocks" featuring Kamasi Washington.
Bammy-winning Mike Rinta was the featured trombonist with Sly & The Family Stone, John Lee Hooker Jr., Variable Unit, Calvin Keys, Harvey Mandel, and Brass Monkey Brass Band, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Mike has played with a myriad of accomplished bands and musicians, and has toured North America and Europe with Michelle Shocked and also the Dynatones.