The Chaz Lipp Groove Tripp is joined by former American Idol star Sanjaya Malakar for Good Merlin—the results are magical.

Seattle-based saxist Chaz Lipp plays from the heart throughout Good Merlin, the debut album by The Chaz Lipp Groove Tripp. A journey through the Great American Songbook, with a few original compositions serving as interludes, this music bristles with fresh, vivid energy.

Having honed his craft for years under the tutelage of the late Pacific Northwest jazz legend Don Lanphere, Chaz Lipp now unleashes an original style extracted straight from his soul. When Lipp’s searing sax leads combine with expressive vocals by Sanjaya Malakar (formerly a highly publicized finalist on American Idol), an accessible, joyous journey unfolds. A real “groove tripp [sic]” indeed (why the second P? “Makes the trip last longer,” says Lipp).

What inspired the album’s title (and title track) Good Merlin? “My initial thought was to call it ‘Good Morning,’ because the music welcomes listeners like the warmth of the dawning sun,” Lipp explains, “But that wasn’t quite strong enough. ‘Good Merlin’ is basically ‘good morning’ with a magical twist.”


Critics’ praise for Good Merlin:

“The Groove Tripp succeed in offering fresh perspectives… Sanjaya Malakar’s voice is different, unusual, unexpected.” – Bill Buckley, Soul and Funk and Jazz

“Chaz Lipp approaches his sax with such surety and expression that every song and solo feels like there is a world of experience in it.” – Bill Bentley, Austin Sun

“Real magic happens when Chaz Lipp’s sax is joined by Sanjaya Malakar, a former finalist on American Idol who has a voice made for jazz.” – Rhetta Akamatsu, Making A Scene

“Smooth, competent vocals… Sassy and sophisticated sax.” – Ron Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride

Industry praise for Good Merlin:

“Nice rendition of ‘God Bless the Child’ – very nice vocals too!” – Gerald Albright; contemporary jazz superstar

“I enjoyed the album very much. Lovely to hear – great playing and singing.” – Hugh Padgham; four-time Grammy-winning producer (Phil Collins, Genesis, The Police, Sting)

“A good effort with a very ‘live’ feel – Chaz has a lot of chops!” – David Lanz; Grammy-nominated recording artist and composer

“Really good… I can appreciate the talent involved. Great voice and sax!” – Julian Mendelsohn; producer/engineer (Pet Shop Boys, Paul McCartney, Level 42)

“I love the title track, ‘Good Merlin!’ Chaz is a very good player. All in all, a damn good first record!” – Denny Seiwell; veteran jazz and rock drummer (Paul McCartney and Wings, Astrud Gilberto, James Brown)

The Chaz Lipp Groove Tripp is:
Chaz Lipp – alto saxophone

Joined for Good Merlin by these guests:
Sanjaya Malakar – vocals
Charlie Hiestand – piano; keys; bass (tracks 4, 7)
Trevor Pelletier – upright bass
Chris Patin – drums
Gary Lanz – additional percussion (tracks 4, 5,7)

1. God Bless the Child
2. Take the ‘A’ Train
3. Nature Boy
4. Good Merlin
5, Watermelon Man
6. Georgia On My Mind
7. Groovy Green Eyes
8. Fever
9. Summertime
10. Fly By Night

Produced by: Gary Lanz and Chaz Lipp

Twitter: @lippgroovetripp