3 Keys' "That Beat" features Bob Baldwin, Gail Johnson and Dr. Phil Davis
The New Year brings new music and leading the pack is Jazz’s latest “Supergroup” 3 Keys. The group features 2022 Jazz Music Awards winner-legendary producer-radio host Bob Baldwin who boasts 10 Top 10 Smooth Jazz songs and 25+ albums. 3 Keys also includes Gail Johnson, “The First Lady of Smooth Jazz”, musical director for Norman Brown and founder of Jazz in Pink, and rounding out the group is Dr.Phil Davis, Grammy winning producer-artist-educator at WCLK licensee Clark Atlanta University, also no stranger to the Top 10 of the Smooth Jazz Charts. Therefore, when these talented musicians come together to make music you can almost guarantee the you’re in for a treat. Their debut is no disappointment as 3 Keys delivers with That Beat, the first single from the forthcoming full length CD (album), a song that’s smooth with a beat (no pun intended) that will have the listener wanting more. The record is slated for release January 20 on Shanachie. This song is one that fits all day parts and I’m sure many radio programmers across the country will agree by sharing this song with their listeners.
The concept of the super group in Jazz some say, began with the creation of Supersax: formed by Saxophonist Med Flory and bassist Buddy Clark in 1972 as a tribute to Charlie Parker. Others point to Weather Report, formed in 1970 by American Wayne Shorter and Austrian Virtuoso Keyboardist Joe Zawinul. Others point to the creation of Return To Forever, formed in 1972, which boasts among its founding members the late Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. In modern times, arguably, the most successful “Supergroup” in Smooth Jazz has been FourPlay, originally featuring Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason and Lee Ritenour--formed in 1990 and selling millions beginning with their 1991 debut album. The all-female super group Jazz In Pink featuring core members Gail Johnson, Althea Rene, Maria Annointte and Karen Briggs was formed in 2008 and released their first CD in 2014, also featuring Cindy Bradley. They continue to find a home on Smooth Jazz radio station playlist.
While its too early to compare 3 Keys to the afore-mentioned Supergroups in terms of longevity we can say this first single That Beat definitely, whets the appetite for the full album We 3 Keys which releases later this month. One thing is for sure Atlanta’s Jazz Station Jazz 91.9 WCLK will be the first and best place to hear it!