Saxophonist/Composer Russell Kirk is a distinguished musician, an innovative force who offers a fresh approach that is both evocative and richly balanced. His expressive musical style punctuates his nuanced compositions, and nowhere is it more evident than in his latest release “To Journal Square”, a love letter to the Jersey City community that gave him inspiration during a challenging period in his career.
Russell has been fine-tuning his musical skills for most of his 30 years, traveling with celebrated musicians and orchestras from Parliament Funkadelic to the Cab Calloway Orchestra and everything in between. He eventually moved to Journal Square where he faced some tough times as a musician trying to find his voice. It was while living in this unique are of Jersey City – this hub of transportation, business and community life that he was inspired by the rhythm and energy, to transform what he was experiencing, hearing and sensing into a musical score. The end product is a beautifully diverse musical tribute titled, To Journal Square.
The Path, the pedigree ensemble that joins Kirk on this musical journey adds lyrical balance to each track and Kirk unselfishly allows them to shine. Among them are Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer/composer Terri Lyne Carrington, fusion guitarist Wayne Krantz, concert & film composer Jacob Yoffee on tenor Saxophone, the extraordinary Dontae Winslow on trumpet/vocals and Cuban export, award-winning keyboardist Aruán Ortiz.
Throughout this surprisingly bold new album, Kirk shows himself to be a master technician who is always in control – quiet when he has to be and assertive when he needs to be. His is a fluid sound, strong and sensual and best articulated on The Path Suite No. 3 .