dtrcd101.jpg (35233 bytes) Kevin Dean
- Kevin's Heaven

Kevin Dean - Trumpet, Greg Clayton - Guitar, Hank Marr - Hammond B-3 Organ, Jim Rupp - Drums

1. Make Me A Present Of You 6:38
2. Big Wood 6:00
3. Sincerely 7:03
4. Retournez S.V.P. 6:39
5. Ill Wind 10:42
6. Mock's Nest 7:50
7. You Are My Sunshine 7:51
8. How Deep Is The Ocean 9:38
9. This Is New 7:39
Total Time 70:22

Listen to CD Tracks

    In early 1967 my father received a free LP with the renewal of his subscription to Down Beat magazine. The record was Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery, The Dynamic Duo, and I was thirteen years old. I wore out that record and blew out the speaker on the phonograph in the process. On our family's next trip to Mason City, I scoured the cut-out bin at Arlans and, much to my father's chagrin, found a copy of Hoochie Coochie Man for 99 cents. For the next two weeks, I sat at the piano pretending it was a Hammond B-3, singing Boom Boom Boom Boom, Gonna Shoot Ya Right Down in an adolescent soprano.

    It was around this time that my career strategy shifted from African missionary to professional jazz organist. All I needed was the organ.

    By the end of the summer, my collection of jazz organ records had grown by leaps and bounds and I added Big Boss Man and I Got My Mojo Workin' to my vocal repertoire. None of my family or friends seemed to know what a mojo was, so my mother thought it prudent that I refrain from using the term "just in case it's something bad".

    My pleas to replace the piano with a Hammond organ and Leslie speaker were met with shock, horror, and confusion. The prohibitive cost was their first line of defense, but I was ready for that. You see, 1967 was a bonanza year for me financially. My pen of three market swine had received purple ribbons at the North Iowa Fair, I'd saved all my chore and bailing money, and my brothers and I had trapped an inordinate number of pocket gophers for which there was quite a bounty. These savings were originally intended for college education, but I had a better idea: we would pool our resources, buy a B-3 and Leslie, I would practice diligently, my voice would drop, and then I would put myself and my brothers through college playing and singing the Jimmy Smith songbook!
 My parents, who were normally quite reasonable people, were completely opposed to my proposal and in my opinion lacked vision and entrepreneurial spirit. My diplomatic and negotiating skills were really being put to the test. At one point my father raised his voice and made reference to a roller rink for which I have only recently forgiven him.

    A compromise of sorts was finally reached; "No organ, ever, forget it, not in this house. However, if you want to start playing the saxophone it's ok with us". This, of course, was a fairly transparent ploy to divert my attention away from the very large, very loud, and very expensive Hammond organ. And it worked, sort-of. I began playing the cornet. I gradually fell in love with my Conn Director and learned to appreciate the value of an instrument that I could carry single-handedly.

    I've never lost my fascination or my love for the Hammond organ, so having the opportunity to record with Hank Marr was a real thrill. He is one of the few true masters of the instrument, and it's an honour to be in his musical company. Greg and Jim work together with Hank like a well-oiled machine and they made the whole recording session a real pleasure. I think you will hear a lot of joyfulness in this music and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Check out Hank's solos on Sincerely, Make me a Present of You, and Mock's Nest... That, is Kevin's Heaven.

Kevin Dean - July 1995

1. Make Me A Present Of You (6:38)/ Music by Joseph Green. I've always loved the sound of these happy-go-lucky tunes in dark flat keys. The Dinah Washington and Kenny Dorham versions are favorites of mine, and I think the lyrics are humorous and romantic.

2. Big <>Wood (6:00)/ Music by Kevin Dean. From the name "DeGrosbois"; Big Wood has a kind of New Orleans street-beat, hip-hop, Bo Diddley, calypso, jazz march feel. Jim makes it all work.

3. Sincerely (7:03)/ Music by Harvey Fuqua & Alan Freed. A very simple and beautiful tune. There is a great version on the juke box at Shirley Mae's Cafe, 802 So. Clay St. Louisville, Ky, where you can eat the world's best food while you listen.

4. Retournez S.V.P. (6:39)/ Music by Kevin Dean. Based on the chord progression to Lover Come Back To Me, this is also a happy tune in a dark flat key. Taken at this fast tempo, it becomes a challenging vehicle for improvisation.

5. Ill Wind (10:42)/ Music by Harold Arlen. I think Harold Arlen may be my favorite songwriter. His melodies are always unique and beautiful and the form of his tunes are often unconventional. Ill Wind was written as a follow-up to Stormy Weather and originally had 10 measure A sections. Greg's solo is exquisite while Hank and Jim provide the ideal atmospheric conditions.

6. Mock's Nest (7:50)/ Music by Kevin Dean. This is a sort-of dirty blues named for a friend of mine who is now 80 years young. Nothing is more enjoyable than hanging out at his place smoking a good cigar and listening to music. Everett Mock: The Finest Kind.

7. You Are My Sunshine (7:51) / Music by Jimmy Davis. I remember singing this song as a kid and thinking how sad it was. When I heard Mose Allison sing it in minor, I thought that's how it should sound. I added a short interlude, put it in Bb minor, and it seemed to feel just right.

8. How Deep Is The Ocean (9:38)/ Music by Irving Berlin. This is my favorite Irving Berlin tune. It almost seems to play itself. The melody and chord progression are so strong and inextricibly intertwined that I feel I can interpret the melody very freely.

9. This Is New (7:39)/ Music by Kurt Weil. I have found that musicians seem to differ on how this tune should be played. Melody, chords, tempo, key; all aspects seem open to discussion. As a result, the tune is rarely played. Greg and I combined forces to solidify this new This Is New.

Greg Clayton was born in Montreal in 1951 and has been an active and important figure on the Canadian jazz scene for over 20 years. He also teaches guitar and jazz improv at McGill University.

Hank Marr is a seasoned veteran, who has been playing steadily since the 1950's. He teaches at Ohio State University.

Jim Rupp is Hank's right hand man. He is based in Columbus, OH & maintains a very busy recording and touring schedule.

Kevin Dean resides in Montreal and is an associate professor of music at McGill University.

Special thanks to Andre White for recording, musical, grammatical and friendly advice, and to Jamey D. for giving me full reign in choosing the music and musicians.