Veteran saxophone player, Paul Sawtelle, has been paying his dues as a musician for over 30 years and he’s enjoyed every minute of it. As a top-shelf arranger, big band leader, funk, rock and blues band sideman, in-demand session player and featured soloist on scores of studio projects and live shows, Paul’s driving passion and virtuosity has always been front and center.
He’s played for President Clinton, worked with Heart, opened for artists from Savoy Brown to Jonny Lang, appeared on national television shows and, in 2008, won a prestigious Spelleman Award, the Norwegian equivalent of The Grammy, for his horn arrangements and playing on Sony Music’s extraordinary blues band, Orbo and the Longshots album.
However, as busy as Paul has been and as much as he has accomplished, there was one thing he’s wanted to do for over 20 years. “I’ve always dreamed of making a Paul Sawtelle album,” he confides. And when Paul sets his mind to something, whether learning the keyboard, clarinet or sax, running successful small businesses or setting goals for his life and family, he makes it happen.
He launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project, it succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and Virtual Insanity, a collection of some of his favorite songs from the past four decades, plus two co-writes with the Grammy nominated keyboard wiz, Jeff Lorber, a longtime favorite of Paul’s, is the stunning result.
Sawtelle explained he had a simple goal for what he wanted to achieve with the CD. “I wanted to make timeless music with a contemporary sound using all real instruments.” He also wanted the sound rooted in the funk/rock/jazz roots he loves playing so much. Paul spent a full year working on song choices and picking world-class musicians to play with him. “I listened to hundreds of songs to get to the top 25 I was most passionate about and I went to see every band I could to find musicians I loved,” adding, “As critical as the song choices were, the groove was equally important. “
Picking songs and musicians that represented all the eras he’s been playing professionally, was a primary strategy. “I really wanted to create a contemporary sound, but with a significant nostalgic nod to the sound I loved when I started playing music in high school,” Paul said.
When asked about the first music that inspired him as a player, he didn’t hesitate. “The first Chicago Transit Authority album had a tremendous impact on me. The mixture of rock and horns was inspiring and fresh. Seeing that band for the first time live was magical.” He also couldn’t get enough of other groove and horn based bands and players like Tom Scott, Tower of Power, Janis Joplin, Moby Grape, Blood, Sweat & Tears, David Sanborn, Lenny Pickett, Grover Washington, Jr. & Stanley Turrentine.
The CD was recorded during the fall of 2014, at the legendary London Bridge Studio in Seattle with producer/engineer Geoff Ott. Paul gushed about the experience. “Geoff was laid back, patient and positive and he created an atmosphere conducive to artistic expression.” Jeffrey Ross, Kenny G’s first manager and no stranger to jazz, funk and R&B, served as Paul’s coach, mentor and co-producer during the sessions.
The profits of the sale of the CDs will benefit Ted Brown Music Outreach, a Tacoma, Washington based charity that get musical instruments into the hands of children and young adults whose families can’t provide them.
The CD will be the first to be distributed via The London Tone Music Group’s new music distribution division.
Virtual Insanity Credits
Produced by Geoff Ott & Jeffrey S. Ross
Engineered and Mixed by Geoff Ott
Mastered by Steve Turnidge
Paul Sawtelle – All Saxophones
The Brotherhood of Soul
Tommy Sandovallegos – Percussion
Maurice Bailey – Drums
Eugene Bien – Keyboards
Rikk Beatty – Guitar
Gerald Turner –Bass
Jeff Lorber – Keyboards
Owuor Arunga- Trumpet
Jessica Lynne- Vocals
Kitt Bender -Vocals
Nolan Garrett- Guitar
Raymond Hayden- Piano
Izzy Parker – Vocals
Mr. Von- Rap Vocal
Greg Kramer –Trombone
Photo by: Bill Bungard
Graphic Design by Jaci Sawtelle- The Corbenic Group
1.I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You (Alan Parsons)
2.Another Sunday Morning (Co-Write with Jeff Lorber)
3.Why Can’t We Live Together ( Timmie Thomas)
4.Stubble Trouble (Co-Write with Jeff Lorber)
5.Virtual Insanity (Jamiroquai)
6.Trouble (Jose James)
7.If You Want Me To Stay (Sly Stone)
8.When I Was Your Man (Bruno Mars)
For more info: Jeff Heiman, firstname.lastname@example.org, (253) 279-5886
Jeff Ross, email@example.com, (425) 822-5070
London Tone Music http://www.londontonemusic.com