Blue Is More Than a Color

Dave Morgan

I have long imagined a large jazz ensemble that somehow reconciles the energy of the Mingus band, the finesse of the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the grandeur of the Pat Metheny Group, the melodicism of Kenny Wheeler, and the humanity of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. The big challenge is how to balance through-composed formal structures with space for improvisation and spontaneous creativity. Blue Is More Than A Color begins to realize this vision.

Blue Is More Than A Color shines a light on the history of the creative jazz scene in Akron, the current renaissance centered around the Blu Jazz club, and the brilliant young musicians who are choosing to base their lives and careers in Akron and Northeast Ohio. Blue Is More Than A Color was made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. The Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching the city of Akron through the arts.

Light blue, ice blue, baby blue. Morning blue, midnight blue. Mediterranean blue, Persian blue, Delft blue.

Parrish blue, the blue of magic. Marian blue, the blue of angels.

Bluebells and delphiniums, periwinkles and morning glories. Blue orchids and cornflowers. . . Les Bluets.

We live within a fugue of blue, Beneath the infinite, untouchable sky, kissing hypnotic seas. We embrace blue mountains. We wrestle blue devils.

The Man With the Blue Guitar. Kind of Blue. The Abstract Truth. Lady Sings the Blues. Cross Road Blues. Yer Blues.

Blue songs like tattoos. Blue Is More Than A Color.

“It's one of the few recordings I hear that makes me want to listen again and again and play for others! It's the right length and isn't all over the place in terms of the sound and the vibe. And such great performances and soloists. . .wow! Great melodies throughout, which you just don't hear much these days except from a few writers like Vince Mendoza. You leave the welcome mat out for the listener by giving them something to hang on to: great grooves, melodies supported by great harmonies and some drama along the way. You've got it all in this record!” -Rick Lawn, author of Jazz Scores and Analysis

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