dixon

THE GABE DIXON BAND REACHES FOR THE STARS

Gabe Dixon with Anne Hathaway- for the Grateful Web

Following a very successful 2008, Fantasy recording artists The Gabe Dixon Band have begun the New Year with a bang. Their self-titled debut for Fantasy Records was released last August to glowing reviews as they barnstormed all over the United States making fans, famous and not so famous along the way.
 
The hard working, Nashville based trio, whose unforgettable, piano-driven songs has been compared to Elton John, Ben Folds and Jackson Browne, have been featured in many television shows including One Tree Hill and Privileged. In addition the band has performed on numerous late night shows including the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, the KTLA Morning News and most recently Jimmy Kimmel Live where they met their latest fan, actress Anne Hathaway.

Gabe Dixon Band tour and new CD Streets 8/26

Photo by Henry Diltz- for the Grateful Web

To kick off the release of their eponymous Fantasy Records debut, the Gabe Dixon Band will tour clubs nationwide in September and October, including shows at New York's Bowery Ballroom, Philadelphia's Theatre of Living Arts, Los Angeles' Roxy Theatre, and San Francisco's Great American Music Hall. The band will share the stage with Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers September 10 –14, and with VH1 "You Oughta Know" buzz artist Justin Nozuka September 18–October 21.
 
The band will make their network television debut Labor Day week on "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson." Even before the release of the album, the band is being lauded by a choir of fellow musicians: chart-topper Sara Bareilles says "Gabe's voice is flawless, and it delivers some of the most well-crafted, heart-felt, kick ass songs I've heard in a long time. He and the band are truly gifted, and we're lucky they decided to share those gifts with the world." Adds international sensation Jamie Cullum, "Seeing and hearing Gabe Dixon inspires me and upsets me. It inspires me because he plays superbly written songs, beautifully with a superb band. It upsets me because I fret that I may never be this good!" And Grammy Award-winning songwriter Dan Wilson comments, "I can't decide whether Gabe Dixon's secret weapon is his brilliance on the piano or his heart-melting voice. I guess I'll call it a tie. We fans have already witnessed this trio's blazing live performances — their self-titled album is the recorded proof. I'm guessing that Gabe won't be a secret for long after people hear these songs."
 
Gabe Dixon formed the band with bassist Winston Harrison and drummer Jano Rix when they were students at the University of Miami. Dixon has already been recognized as the "next great pop piano man" (Paste) by artists as varied as Alison Krauss, O.A.R. and Sir Paul McCartney, who have all tapped Dixon to play keyboards both live and in the studio.
 
The trio cut their debut CD live off the floor during ten days at Nashville's renowned Blackbird Studios with co-producer/engineer/mixer Neal Cappellino (Alison Krauss, Mindy Smith, Jonny Lang). The album embeds vividly detailed, intensely personal and universally relatable songs in elegant yet muscular settings that draw, unabashedly and expertly, on classic rock.

The Tennessean
, the newspaper in the band's hometown of Nashville, called it early when it stated in 2005 that Dixon "is a classic pop songwriter [who] deserves to join the ranks of Jackson Browne and early Elton John in the pop pantheon."

THE TOUR DATES:

Wed., Sept. 10  CARRBORO, NC   Cat's Cradle
Thurs. Sept. 11   ASHEVILLE, NC    The Orange Peel
Fri., Sept. 12   NASHVILLE, TN  The Belcourt Theater
Sat., Sept. 13  ATLANTA, GA  Smith's Olde Bar
Sun., Sept. 14   BIRMINGHAM, AL  WorkPlay Theater
Thurs., Sept. 18   BUFFALO, NY  The Town Ballroom
Fri., Sept. 19   BOSTON, MA   Paradise Rock Club
Sat., Sept. 20   NORTHHAMPTON, MA Pearl Street
Mon., Sept. 22   NEW YORK, NY  Bowery Ballroom
Wed., Sept. 24   STATE COLLEGE, PA  The State Theater
Thurs., Sept. 25  PITTSBURGH, PA  Rex Theatre
Sat., Sept. 27  TOWSON, MD  Recher Theatre
Sun., Sept. 28  PHILADELPHIA, PA Theatre of Living Arts
Tues., Sept. 30  CLEVELAND, OH  House of Blues Cambridge Room
Wed., Oct. 1  DETROIT, MI  Shelter
Thurs., Oct. 2  PLYMOUTH, WI  Turner Hall
Sat., Oct. 4  CHICAGO, IL  Martyr's
Sun., Oct. 5  MINNEAPOLIS, MN Varsity Theatre
Wed., Oct. 8  DENVER, CO  Bluebird Theater
Thurs., Oct. 9  MURRAY, UT Murray Theater
Sun., Oct. 12  SEATTLE, WA  Neumo's
Mon., Oct. 13  PORTLAND, OR  Berbati's Pan
Wed., Oct. 15  LOS ANGELES, CA  Roxy Theatre
Fri., Oct. 17  SCOTTSDALE, AZ  Martini Ranch
Sun., Oct. 19  POMONA, CA  The Glass House
Tues., Oct. 21  SAN FRANCISCO, CA Great American Music Hall

Gabe Dixon Band plan release and fall tour

photos by ericmichaelphotography.com- for the Grateful Web

Nashville piano rockers, The Gabe Dixon Band, have a busy few months ahead.  The trio just shot the video for their single "Till You're Gone" and will release their debut, self-titled album on August 26th.  The band is set to play select dates with Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers and then join soulful, singer/songwriter Justin Nozuka on a slew of tour dates throughout September and October.   Check out more info on their Myspace page to read what other musicians have been saying about the band and find out why Dixon turned down a spot to play on Paul McCartney's tour.

Date      Venue                                 Location

9/10       Cat's Cradle                          Carborro, North Carolina **

9/11       Orange Peel                         Asheville, North Carolina **

9/12       Belcourt Theatre                    Nashville, Tennessee **

9/13       Smith's Olde Bar                    Atlanta, Georgia **

9/14       Workplay                              Birmingham, Alabama **

9/18       Town Ballroom                      Buffalo, New York  *

9/19       Paradise Rock Club                Boston, Massachusetts *

9/22       Bowery Ballroom                   New York, New York *

9/24       State Theatre                        State College, Pennsylvania *

9/25       Rex Theatre                          Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania *

9/27       Recher                                  Towson, Maryland *

9/28       Theatre of the Living Arts       Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  *

9/30       Cambridge Room                   Cleveland, Ohio *

             @HOB Cleveland

10/2       Turner Hall                            Plymouth, Wisconsin *

10/4       Martyr's                                Chicago, Illinois *

10/5       Varsity Theater                      Minneapolis, Minnesota *

10/8       Bluebird Theater                    Denver, Colorado *

10/15     The Roxy                               West Hollywood, California *

10/19     The Glass House                     Pomona, California *

10/21     Great American Music Hall       San Francisco, California *

The Dixon-Rhyne Project

Rob Dixon- for the Grateful Web

Reinvention, the new album and experiment from Rob Dixon and Melvin Rhyne, is a melding of the bebop jazz organ quartet with world music and jam. Though jazz has always been steeped in improvisation, it has had periods where its intricacies have been ingrained into composition on the page with little room for individual color or influence. This album has touches of the San Francisco cool jazz scene and free bop where a jazz combo moves with a melody like a patch of wild mint around a garden, finding new soil and nutrients for its growth.  It's an organic thing, and Dixon and Rhyne are showing that age (whether young or old) isn't any barrier to creating something called jazz.

Rob Dixon, who is comfortable with tenor and alto saxophones, is 37 years old. Born in Georgia, he studied jazz at Indiana University and then went on to New York to work as a side man with The Count Basie Orchestra, The Ellington Band, Rufus Reid, Tony Bennett, and Ray Charles. When he returned to Indianapolis, he formed a trio with drummer Kenny Phelps and organist Brad Whitely. They combined straight jazz with funk influences from Soulive and released an album, "What Things May Be," in 2006.

It was around this time that Dixon met Melvin Rhyne, who plays Hammond B3 organ and Mini Moog. Over three decades Dixon's senior, Rhyne had a history in jazz. Though he was a self-taught jazz pianist, he found work with up-and-coming jazz groups. In the mid 50s, he played with the reed multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk and switched to organ at that time. Rhyne collaborated with jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery in the early 60s. Soon after, Rhyne moved to Wisconsin and became active in the local music scene. In 1990, he returned to recording and did a record with guitarist Herb Ellis and trumpeter Brian Lynch. He even did a quartet session with Joshua Redman. When he moved back to his hometown of Indianapolis, he and Dixon seemed fated to work together. Now, 71 years old, Rhyne is taking his hard-bop organ and adding his velvet touches to this new project.

Dixon asked his trio drummer, Kenny Phelps, to join the group. His solid drumming has made him a popular session player. Finally filling out the quartet is an unexpected player. Fareed Haque, the sensational guitarist and sitar player with Garage Mahal, came aboard to add color with several guitars.

For Rhyne, this might have been the biggest stretch, to come into a jam-rich environment with the likes of Haque, but Rhyne clearly shines in this new album, putting a mark of jazz authority to the project. His organ work is varied, lively, and inventive. The improvisation that Dixon calls forth from his saxophones sets a benchmark for the rest of the quartet, and Haque, in particular, excels in meeting that level of creativity. And Kenny Phelps keeps it all on track.

The quartet is joined by Salar Nader on tablas on "Shadow and Light" and "Tomorrow Sierra." These two tunes are perhaps the most risk-taking for a jazz ensemble (but not for a jam group with strong jazz roots). "Shadow and Light" is reminiscent of the work of San Francisco percussionist Babatunde Lea and his quartet featuring saxophonist Richard Howell. Though the tablas add an Eastern feel, rather than Afro-Cuban as in Lea's work, they are not as pronounced as in "Tomorrow Sierra." "Shadow and Light" is more jazz whereas "Tomorrow Sierra" has a pronounced world sound with a trippy edge to the jazz.

All of the tunes, except one, on this CD are written by Dixon but enhanced by the quartet. The only cover, "Chit'lins Con Carne" is a classic gleaned from jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell's 1967 recording, Midnight Blue. It's a soul jazz tune where Phelps' gospel backbeat carries the quartet along, allowing Haque to explore this old chestnut.

Throughout the entire album, the sax, organ, and guitar all take turns at soloing, without overstepping anyone's place in the group. No one outshines anyone else. They work as a cohesive whole, creating a real conversation between musicians and producing some of the best jazz I've heard in a long time.

Reinvention is an album to sit and savor. If you're a seasoned jazz enthusiast, you'll love the freshness in this album. If you're knowledge of jazz comes from jam, this will be one to add to your collection. It is one of the best new albums out that combines the long legacy of jazz with the richness of new innovators.

The Dixon-Rhyne Project is something to try to catch live. They are playing at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis on July 9 and continue to play in the city when they can.

The Gabe Dixon Band's New Album Streets August 26th, 2008

Gabe Dixon- for the Grateful Web

The Gabe Dixon Band's new self-titled album, due out on Fantasy Records on August 26, is in fact the group's third release, following the 2002 album On a Rolling Ball and the 2005 EP Live at World Café. But there's good reason Dixon, the band's writer/singer/pianist, considers it the GDB's debut.

Formed nine years ago by Dixon — then a classical piano major — and his two college roommates, bassist Winston Harrison and drummer Jano Rix, the group added a sax player and spent several years specializing in jazz-inflected, heavily improvised excursions, showcasing the virtuosity of the players. Dixon's elevated piano chops subsequently led to performances with Alison Krauss, O.A.R. and no less than Paul McCartney who tapped Dixon to play keyboards on his Driving Rain album and back McCartney and others on the internationally broadcast 9/11 tribute "Concert For New York City."

Offered the keyboard slot for McCartney's world tour, Dixon respectfully declined to focus on his own band and its then-yet-to-be-released debut album. But after a bout of cutbacks and regime changes at Warner Bros., the band's original label, the band reinvented itself as a three-piece song-based unit. The band's rededicated attention to arrangement, classic song-craft, and performance can be heard on the band's eponymous new album, The Gabe Dixon Band.

The trio cut the album live off the floor during ten days at Nashville's renowned Blackbird Studios with co-producer/engineer mixer Neal Cappellino (Alison Krauss, Mindy Smith, Jonny Lang) and with bassist Harrison doubling on "mandotar," a modified guitar he created whose sound somewhat resembles that of an electric mandolin. The album embeds vividly detailed, intensely personal and universally relatable songs in elegant yet muscular settings that draw, unabashedly and expertly, on classic rock.

The Tennessean, the newspaper in the band's hometown of Nashville, called it early when it stated in 2005 that the young artist "deserves to join the ranks of Jackson Browne and early Elton John in the pop pantheon." The piano-driven band has also rated favorable comparisons with the Ben Folds 5 and Bruce Hornsby.

Both the material and the supple arrangements result from "the music we heard growing up, listening to our parents' record collections," Dixon points out. "Mostly '70s LPs by Elton John, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Carole King and James Taylor. It was a magical era, the pinnacle of pop, rock and folk in terms of songwriting and musicianship." Dixon and his bandmates have not only assimilated those influences but brought them back into the present tense, resulting in music that is instantly familiar both musically and thematically, yet still provocative and in the moment.

Given the band's innate feel for rock's glory days, it was fitting that the legendary Henry Diltz, whose unforgettable photos of The Doors and Crosby, Stills & Nash have become an indelible part of rock history, shot the album cover images.

While Dixon wrote all the album's songs, three were co-written by onetime Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson, whose co-write of "Not Ready To Make Nice" with the Dixie Chicks earned him a Grammy. Two songs were co-written with gifted Nashville songsmith Tia Sellers, who won a Grammy of her own for Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." For the ballad "Further the Sky," Dixon duets with Mindy Smith, herself a Grammy nominee, at her most inspired.

Of the newfound song focus of his onetime jam band, Dixon says, "We love great songs and real musicianship, and we take time as a band to come up with something that isn't typical, because the arrangement and performance can be just as impactful as the song itself. We've become more refined, and to the point, making the impact direct and immediate. The idea is pretty simple, really: We're dedicated to playing music people like that we like too."

From this immensely promising vantage point, it's been quite a journey for a guy who a decade ago was playing Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville every afternoon from 1 to 5 for tips. The bridge of the song "All Will Be Well" could serve as the credo for Dixon and his bandmates: "You've got to keep it up and don't give up and chase your dreams," he sings, "and you will find, all in time."