NYC sax man Myron Walden departs from the standard jazz idiom with Myron Walden Countryfied (out in June from Demi Sound Records), a funky, down-home project where “lithe, Southern soul-drenched melodies” (JazzTimes) meet a little blues and rock and roll. An early Countryfied performance at NYC venue Pianos showed the sheer energy of the group.
Countryfied, Walden says, is “down-home music. Nod your head, tap your foot, say ‘Amen.’ From the first bar, we’re in the groove.”
Countryfied results from Walden’s reconnection with the inspirations that first made him love music. Growing up in Miami, he listened to Ray Charles, Otis Redding and James Brown on the radio, “from country to whatever,” he says now. He also heard gospel music in church.
More recently, his work with the Brian Blade Fellowship was revelatory. “Here’s a jazz guy,” Walden says of Blade, “who knew country and blues and made me realize the vast possibilities of music. I wanted to be able to express myself and my emotions beyond the boundaries of style.” Continue reading