At Studio Trilogy (l-r): Ray Obeido, producer; Billy Johnson, drums; David K. Matthews, piano, arrangements; Marc van Wageningen, bass; Tom Graf, composer; and Justin Lieberman, recording engineer. Photo by David Goggin.
San Francisco, CA (January 14, 2015)—Jazz composer Tom Graf has completed his latest solo album, Smokin', at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco.
The album was produced by jazz guitarist Ray Obeido, who has worked with Herbie Hancock, Pete Escovedo, and Sheila E, as well as releasing five successful albums on the Windham Hill Label. Graf’s resume includes writing for groups such as Con Funk Shun and Angela Bofill, catchy radio commercials and music for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
"This album was a real joy to record at Trilogy," remarked Graf. "My solo career started out as a vanity project of jazz tunes that I had written over many years and decided to record. They were coming out so well that the musicians were saying 'Hey, you need to release this.' I said OK, and then started getting great airplay on the jazz stations."
Trilogy chief engineer Justin Lieberman commented, "I always love working with Ray Obiedo and Tom's project was no exception. He assembles the best musicians around and it makes my job super easy. All of these musicians are so good at controlling and catering their tone for what they are playing that I just follow their lead."
"We really enjoyed working at Trilogy," added Graf. "The vibe is very cool, the facilities are impeccable, and the people are bright and really take care of you. They also have a really fine grand piano."
Graf elaborates on the new album, "David K. Mathews, currently with Santana, arranged the compositions with help from, and overall production by, Ray Obeido. This is the way smooth jazz used to sound when played by the likes of Freddy Hubbard, Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery. The musicians on my album expanded the compositions, added a sense of groove and delivered beautiful improvisations to create music with all of the verve and integrity I imagined from the very beginning."