The Cover of the Wide Hive release "Calvin Keys - Vertical Clearance"

Vertical Clearance

“Keys’ unadorned soul-jazz guitar glides through an array of sonic environments, with funk, acid-jazz and DJ-culture influences and an extensive roster of players – including saxophonist Sonny Fortune, trombonist Phil Ranelin and drummer Babatunde Lea, to name a few.” — David R. Adler, Jazz Times

Legendary Black Jazz Guitarist Calvin Keys returns to Wide Hive for another stellar release. In the same vein that Detour into Unconscious Rhythms fused modern production with classy jazz stylings, Vertical Clearance continues in the same vein.

This time around Calvin is joined by the legendary saxophonist Sonny Fortune, drumming maverick Babatunde, and familiar Wide Hive staples Matt Montgomery and Gregory Howe Adding to this all-star line-up is Paul Hanson (saxophone) and Roger Glenn (vibes), as well as Tribe Records inspiration and newly recruited Wide Hive artist Phil Ranelin. Doug Carn (Earth Wind and Fire) also plays keyboards on a few tracks and Kat Ouano (Variable Unit) also chimes in on the keys.

Track Listing: 

2. Spreading Spirit (Feat. Sonny Fortune)
3. Unresolved Daydream
4. Proceed With Caution
5. Secaucus S. Rutherford (Feat. Headnodic)
6. Vertical Clearance
7. Seven and Sonny
8. Maximum Height
9. Blue D
10. Drunk Monk
11. Last Exit

  • A photo of Babatunde Lea

    Babatunde Lea

    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.

  • A photo of Calvin Keys

    Calvin Keys

    Calvin Keys’ 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.

  • A photo of Doug Carn.

    Doug Carn

    Doug Carn is a keyboardist and B3 organ player who has played with Nat Adderly, Earth Wind and Fire, Shirley Horn, Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrenting, and Irene Reid.

    Doug Carn played organ on Calvin Keys’ Vertical Clearance.

  • A photo of Gregory Howe at the sound board.

    Gregory Howe

    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 2024 Howe recorded and released albums for Throttle Elevator Music with Kamasi Washington, Roscoe Mitchell, Mike Clark, Dissent, Erik Jekabson, Calvin Keys, Phil Ranelin (Pharoah Sanders, Henry Franklin, Big Black), Wide Hive Players and the incomparable artist and guitarist Larry Coryell.

  • A photo of Kat Ouano.

    Kat Ouano

    Kat Ouano plays keys for Plate Fork Knife Spoon, and on Variable Unit’s Seven Grain, Handbook for the Apocalypse, Cold Flow and Calvin Keys’ Vertical Clearance release. She also plays with the Bay Area's Crown City Rockers, and formerly, the Broun Fellinis.

  • A photograph of Matt Montgomery playing bass in the Wide Hive Studio.

    Matt Montgomery

    Matt Montgomery plays the bass, writes music, and plays piano/keyboards. He has performed and/or recorded with Faye Carol, Calvin Keys, Larry Coryell, Mark Levine, Phil Ranelin, singer/songwriters Cass McCombs, Greg Ashley, Adam Stephens (of Two Gallants), Grammy-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, and many more.

  • A photo of Paul Hanson.

    Paul Hanson

    Paul Hanson has performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Dewey Redman, Billy Higgins and Cirque du Soleil. In addition he is known for working with the American composer Terry Riley and began his career as a saxophonist with Eddie Money.

  • A photo of Roger Glenn.

    Roger Glenn

    Recognized as a master flute and vibraphone player, Roger Glenn has played and recorded with such giants of Jazz and Latin music as Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader and Rosemary Clooney, to name just a few.

  • Sonny Fortune playing the saxophone.

    Sonny Fortune

    Sonny Fortune has played with Elvin Jones, Leon Thomas and Mongo Santamaria, and Miles Davis, in his fusion group, where he stayed for a year, recording four LPs, Big Fun, Agartha, Pangaea and Get Up With It. Sonny has also recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Oliver Nelson, George Benson, Nat Adderly and released independent records on Blue Note, A&M Horizon and cult classic label Strata East.