Art Lillard & Blue Heaven (ft. William Ash) – Eternal Swing



Drummer Art Lillard has long been an established jazz musician in the New York City area, but he originally hails from Florida just like so many luminaries of his generation and just like them, was mentored by the late great Ira Sullivan. Also a Berklee College of Music graduate, who majored in arranging and composition, his band Blue Heaven, moreso than any contemporary New York jazz group, has been able to present an authentic cross-section of unique straight-ahead jazz music, ranging from Dixieland to Bebop and beyond. He has a vast resume, having recorded and played with giants like Jaki Byard, Junior Cook, Buddy DeFranco, Arturo O’Farrill, and countless others.

On this outing he has decided to feature a super rare appearance of legendary guitarist William Ash, who shines brightly above the gutsy, thick organic grooves, unleashed within these excellent arrangements, half of which are done by Art himself, and the other half primarily by Mark McCarron. Ash brings a clarion sound and brilliant harmonic sense reminiscent of Wes Montgomery at his best, while trumpeter and former Illinois Jacquet alumni Jon Mark McGowan, rips through changes and lays down some powerful melody. Art’s drumming has both a steady pulse at all times, admixed with a dangerous edge that will keep you on your toes. Rounding out the band are amazing contributions from bassist/tuba player Ralph Hamperian, tenorist Kenny Pexton and the various flavors of horn multi-instrumentalist Scott Reeves.

Regardless of whether approaching standard fare like “Bernie’s Tune” or traditional sauce of Jelly Roll Morton’s “Dixie Knows”, the listener will never get bored, as these are the types of riffs that feed you that good old RHYTHM that is often missing from jazz music these days. You, as the consumer of these tunes will no doubt learn first hand the concept of eternal swing, which is truly timeless the way Art brings it forth!

Additional information

Weight .25 oz
Dimensions 5 × 6 × .5 in
Media Type



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