This record happened by accident.
I had a night booked at The Blue Whale—a killer jazz club in Los Angeles—but hadn’t yet selected a band. While touring with Snarky Puppy, I got talking with Mark and Sput about NAMM (a music convention held each January, south of Los Angeles). They were both going to be in town for it so I asked them to join me at the Whale. Then I asked Kaveh (bassist in Kneebody, among other bands). We'd performed together recently and I was looking for an excuse to play again. Then I found out Nir (who I'd been playing with for awhile) was going to be in town from New York. Perfect! This was my chance to experiment with a two-guitar band.
Ever since playing in John Mayer’s band, I’d wanted to lead a guitar-based group. John had three guitarists (including himself) in his touring band. This meant a lush cushion of guitar-y goodness enveloped every solo I played. Imagine the best mattress and pillow combination you’ve ever experienced. It feels like that. But of course, it’s not just the guitar. It’s the player.
Excited by the idea of this group, I decided to borrow a page from the Snarky Puppy playbook and film it. There was one catch: we had no time to rehearse, and barely a sound check. I’d played with each of these guys in different scenarios, but never as a unit. So we set up in a circle, surrounded by an audience and five cameras, and played these tunes together for the first time. No pressure! I thought we might get two or three good videos out of it. We got more. Alex Chaloff and his team captured not only gorgeous video but stunning audio. When I heard the result I realized this needed to be its own album. So here it is. Live. Raw. Filled with an energy that comes only from tight-rope walking in front of an audience. My younger self would hear only the “mistakes.” My current-age-self hears the magic. I hope you hear it, too.
Saxophonist Bob Reynolds is equally at home in stadiums full of screaming fans as he is in intimate jazz clubs. He first appeared in the former as a member of superstar John Mayer’s band where his solos added wonderful new twists to well-known songs like Vultures and Wheel. Other greats also engaged his services, including Usher, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and 9-time Grammy Award-winning guitar legend Larry Carlton. These days Reynolds is frequently found blowing experimental notes with the instrumental fusion group Snarky Puppy, with whom he won a Grammy Award in 2017. His experience with both stadium concerts and jazz club performances is reflected in the music of both his Guitar Band and quartet with whom the ‘melody architect’ (as he calls himself) bridges the gap between catchy sounds and exploratory adventures. Reynolds never loses sight of two things when performing: emotion and connecting with his audience.