1. Capital J
So much of the great jazz I grew up with was built on a strong horn line. In the spirit of those great classics I wrote this tune. The song title come from the phrase "Jazz with a capital J", because this is very much a straight-ahead jazz tune.
Nicholas Payton's tone is fresh and full of life on this tune, and he creates interesting and complex improvisations while still leaving plenty of space. Kenny Garrett combines a deep musical knowledge with a natural and effortless facility.
Since the horns played the main melody, that freed me up to focus of "comping" or playing accompaniment in a way that really swings. In fact, my favorite part of recording Capital J was comping behind the horns.
All the guest artists learned the tune on the day of the recording, which brings a freshness to the performance. And despite the limited rehearsal time they pulled it together quickly and with total professionalism.