Song of the Day: James Zollar, “The Fruit”

Trumpeter James Zollar offers a personal introduction to the rich tapestry of jazz history with his latest album, The Ways In.

James Zollar’s journey in music began at the tender age of nine, performing bugle in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, before graduating to the trumpet and eventually furthering his education at the San Diego College and the University of California. He honed his skills in a variety of settings and genres, including as a featured soloist with Jon Faddis & The Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

Today, he resides in New York City, where he performs with The Duke Ellington Orchestra and other bands, and has released recordings under his name. The latest of these is The Ways In, which pays homage to the rich tapestry of jazz history and, true to its title, serves as an introduction to some of the music’s greatest interpreters via originals and covers.

The album commences with a rendition of Bud Powell’s “The Fruit,” presented as a heartfelt tribute to the late pianist and educator Dr. Harris, arranged by Zollar and trombonist Michael Rorby, and performed in a sextet. The piece also sets the stage for a captivating journey through the landmark scenes of American jazz, from Zollar’s Kansas City roots to the vibrant cities of New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and beyond.

Listen to “The Fruit” by James Zollar via the player below. Zollar’s latest album, The Ways In, is available now via JZAZ Records. Launch it here.

Featured photo courtesy of the artist.

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