Song of the Day: Randy Napoleon, “The Door Is Open”

Guitarist Randy Napoleon collaborates with composer Gregg Hill on his latest album as a bandleader, The Door Is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill.

Known for blending his uniquely forward-thinking approach and passion for the jazz tradition, guitarist Randy Napoleon cut his teeth touring with Benny Green and Michael Bublé, as well as a 13-year tenure with Freddy Cole. A current Associate Professor at Michigan State University, Napoleon has played with artists across the jazz spectrum, performed and arranged on over 70 recordings, and turned heads with his projects as a bandleader. The latest of these is The Door is Open, a collaboration with composer Gregg Hill, whom he calls via a press release “one of the most interesting people whom I’ve met in my travels in music.”

Elucidating on the album’s genesis, Napoleon also highlights how Hill’s original compositions provided fertile ground for creative exploration, enhanced by the talents of collaborators like pianist Rick Roe, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Quincy Davis and vocalist Aubrey Johnson. The vibrant session features three horns on select tracks, including the eponymous piece, enriching the sonic tapestry and underscoring Napoleon’s assertion that the music on The Door is Open is truly a vibrant and entrancing “fusion of minds.”

Listen to our Song of the Day via the player below. Randy Napoleon’s latest album, The Door Is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill, is available now via OA2 Records. Order it here.

Featured photo by Lynne Brown.

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