|Location: CHICAGO, IL, USA|
|Description: Soulful Smooth Jazz combining elements of Jazz & R&B|
Since the 1990s, Ivory Dreams has been among the most soulful groups in what has come to be called smooth jazz – an accessible, groove-oriented style that combines elements of jazz, and quite often, R&B. But if Ivory Dreams had to categorize their music, they wouldn’t necessarily call it jazz, at least not in the traditional sense. The Chicago-based band tends to think of themselves as essentially an R&B band with jazz influences. R&B, soul and funk are their foundation.
With the release of their debut CD, You Go To My Head, Ivory Dreams defines the parameters of their rich musical foundations. Emotions of falling in love swing from the soulful rendition of the title track “You Go To My Head.” On the more contemporary side is “Paquito,” which telegraphs the groups jazzy instrumental side.
Asked how they have evolved over the years and how You Go To My Head reflects that evolution, bandleader KC Fortenberry responds: “I feel like we’ve evolved in many ways, but if I had to single out one thing, I would say that we’ve learned to pace ourselves. When you’re younger, you feel like you have to prove everything all at once. You feel like you have to get all your licks out and show people everything you can do right away. But one of the things that come with maturity is realizing that you don’t have to pull every trick out of your bag all at once. You realize that it’s okay to pace yourself when you play, and I think that You Go To My Head reflects that realization. I think this album acknowledges our roots and at the same time, reflects our growth and maturity.”
For several years Fortenberry has been the bandleader of the group Ivory Dreams who’s current and alumni members include: Vanessa Holmes, Eric Rapier, Robin Alexis, Barbria Hanes, Audley Reid, Leon Allen, Curtis Bates, James Thornton, Dexter Sims, Tracey Anita Baker, Carl Thompson, James Knowles, Derek Henderson, Glover Washington, Michael Thompson and Louis Varro.
Already respected and adored from the cutting edge of today’s black music underground, Ivory Dreams has been one of its most inspiring independent spirits.
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