KJAZZ Radio UK welcomes Richard Boulger his music is captivating and will keep you interested from the start. Richards music draws on experiences gained from studying with notables of Jazz like Freddie Hubbard.
Boulger brings a diverse, colorful history as a sideman and recording artist to his latest sonic venture “Lookin Up”. This multi-talented performer has recorded with R&B singer Joe and a range of other jazz luminaries, including John Hicks, Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Steve Davis, Dennis Irwin, Anthony Wonsey, David Schnitter and – Randy Brecker, a longtime fan of Boulger’s “big fat sound, great chops and most importantly lots of soul.”
In 2001, Boulger began an extensive two year stint touring with Gregg Allman, a run that included his work as a featured soloist on The Allman Brothers Band’s double DVD set Live at the Beacon Theatre. On his critically acclaimed 2007 recording Blues Twilight, Richard Boulger included in his liner notes a quote from his teacher and longtime friend, the legendary Freddie Hubbard, who called the project by the renowned trumpeter and flugelhorn player “truly inspirational.” Hubbard passed away late in 2008, but there’s no doubt he would use the same words to describe his protégée’s latest collection. While the jazz electronica, old school funk and world music fusion Boulger creates with keyboardist Dario Boente on his latest collection marks a dramatic shift from his hard bop leanings of the past, Boulger pays homage even more directly to Hubbard, using a phone message from the trumpet great as the intro to the opening title track. Hubbard’s words say it all: “Things are Lookin Up.”
An active part of the jazz scene for years in his adopted hometown of NYC, Boulger has done numerous clubs, concerts, recordings and festivals as part of drummer Victor Jones’ Cultureversey, a group that blends hip hop, urban soul, modern jazz and funk. The trumpeter had been experimenting with pads and synth sounds since he began working on music with a computer in the early 2000s, but his deeper immersion into the possibilities of jazz in an electronic setting began when he met Boente when the two were on tour with Jones in South Korea in 2004. Boulger enjoyed the way the trio mixed drums and synth with his trumpet and flugelhorn and was later wowed by a video Boente did for his jazz electronica song “Cara a cara.” “If it’s got soul, I’m into it,” Boulger says. “I loved the array of sounds Dario created with his keyboards. So over the years I started playing around with different patches and beats on my computer and considered this period part of a learning curve. I’m very intuitive when it comes to creating music, but after recording Blues Twilight, I knew that my next project would incorporate all of these exciting new influences.
Freddie Hubbard Talks About Richard Boulger
In any music circle when a noted legend pays credit to an individual it speaks volumes about the individual and the talent they possess in 2007 the late Freddie Hubbard had this to say about Richard Boulger and his then current release “Blues Twilight“. Over the years, I’ve been approached by literally thousands of trumpet players wanting feedback or advice, or just to wish me well and tell me how much they’ve enjoyed my music. I’ve always appreciated the support and offered what advice I could. But few of these individuals have made an impact on me in return like Richard Boulger. Richard has shown me a devotion to learning all he can about his instrument, and has spent a lot of time with me in pursuit of knowledge about the trumpet and “this music we endeavor to play called jazz” (to quote one of my favorite Art Blakey sayings). I first met Richard after a performance in Hartford,Ct in the mid 90’s where Boulger was a student at The Jackie Mclean Institute of Jazz. Soon after we began to talk often on the phone about trumpet playing and music in general, sharing ideas and exchanging stories. He also came out to Los Angeles a couple of times to study with me. To encourage him further, I sent him to study with Donald Byrd. Richard has great chops and facility on the horn and is an impassioned improviser. He has also shown great growth as a composer since his debut recording “The Calling”(B-1/Chartmaker music 1999) His compositions here remind me a lot of the finer compositions I heard in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. There seems to be a strong Coltrane influence in his playing and I also hear perhaps a little late Lee Morgan or Billy Harper as well as a little of my own writing style in his tunes. This is best exemplified in the title track, “Blues Twilight”. It’s a powerful tune, right at home with the best from that era. So here you have Richard Boulger’s second recording as a leader. ” I am very happy and honored to be a witness to a great trumpet player. Richard Boulger’s Blues Twilight is truly inspirational. I am very proud of him and I hope you all enjoy it as well.
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Richard Boulger introduced to KJAZZ Radio UK by our friends at ASL Music Media & Promotion