If you are on the jazz scene in the Washington DC Metro Area, then you definitely know the name Elijah Jamal Balbed. He is a young, talented saxophonist and composer, and one of the brightest lights in the DC jazz scene. He is also a very familiar face at Blue House Productions. Jeff Gruber has worked hands on with Balbed many times, most recently recording three tracks, mixing, and mastering his latest album “Lessons from the Streets”.
Elijah is one of the most popular saxophonists on the DC jazz scene playing with a whole host of different ensembles. His rich tone and hard swinging sensibilities showcase his amazing chops and ability to compliment many of the artists he plays with. EJB also has a go-go band called the JoGo Project. Balbed plays beyond his years and has made an incredible record.
Balbed has a knack for telling his musical journey through his compositions, and this album is no exception. As one can imagine, this CD is dedicated to his evolution from playing sax on the streets to playing in gorgeous upscale venues.
Balbed is joined by numerous talented musicians throughout the album. The album features:
Dr. Alex Norris– trumpet
Warren Wolf– vibraphone
Paul Bollenbeck– guitar
EJB is also joined by the following musicians respectively:
Mark Meadows– piano
Kris Funn– bass
Carroll “CV” Dashiell III- drums
Romeir Mendez- bass
Corey Fonville– drums
Alex Brown– piano
Samir Moulay– guitar
Elijah Jamal Balbed took this as an opportunity to pay homage to very influential people in his life. Two songs in particular are dedicated to those who have impacted the person Balbed has become. Firstly, there is “Butch Warren”, a song written for jazz great Butch Warren. There is also an upbeat heartfelt song Balbed wrote to honor his mother entitled “What Matters Most (In Life)”.
Jeff Gruber recorded the first three tracks and also mixed and mastered the entire album at the Blue House Productions facilities in Silver Spring.
The completed album is available on Elijah Jamal Balbed’s website. Learn your “Lessons from the Street” and pick up your copy today!