2019 album with John Beasley, Jasper Somsen & Kendrick Scott. Jazz.
‘The Fine Line’ is an intriguing album and Bob Sheppard’s second on ChallengeRecords, following the sonically rich ‘Close Your Eyes’. Over the course of an extraordinarily diverse career that has made him a first call musician in the realms of jazz, pop and the studio worlds, multi-woodwind specialist Bob Sheppard has always let his array of saxophones, flutes and clarinets do the talking. Superstar names highlight his resume, and jazz critics have been raving about him as both a sideman and leader for years, but such praise is simply a byproduct of Sheppard’s years of steady work and dedication to his craft - a tradition that continues on his latest release as an artist.
On ‘The Fine Line’ Sheppard is joined by John Beasley, Jasper Somsen and Kendrick with special guest appearances by Benjamin Shepherd, Mike Cottone, Simon Moullier, Maria Puga Lareo and Aaron Safarty.
Jasper Somsen: “In 2016, Bob returned for another week of concerts and studio recordings. Shortly after, the former General Director of Challenge Records, Anne de Jong, offered me the opportunity to work on a number of audio productions as an independent producer. One of those projects became this very anticipated album. Bob decided to call John Beasley and Kendrick Scott and I flew to LA to record with them. As I was getting ready for the trip, I asked John Clayton, my former teacher and friend, where I could rent a great instrument.John kindly offered me his famous Ray Brown double bass, the one Ray used in the 1960s during his time with the Oscar Peterson Trio.
"I believe “The Fine Line” is a beautiful statement that displays the great music and musicianship of Bob Sheppard and that of all the players involved. It demonstrates that if you strongly believe in the life of an idea, desire will find a way to turn it into a plan and in the end your dream can come true.”
Over Bob’s career other distinguished collaborations include eight years with Freddie Hubbard, and tours and performances with Chick Corea´s ensemble Origin, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Horace Silver, Lyle Mays, Nat Adderly and Toshiko Akiyoshi/Tabackin Big Band. Some of his more significant recording credits include Scott Henderson, John Beasley, Mark Isham, Otmaro Ruiz, Bill Cunliffe, vocalist Kurt Elling, Marilyn Scott, Michael Franks and Diane Reeves, while including pop icons Steely Dan, Rickie Lee Jones, Rod Stewart, Randy Newman and Stevie Wonder.
Bob Sheppard has honed his intuitive personal style through collaborations with this remarkable range of artists as well as playing on over a hundred movie and television soundtracks. Having earned his Master´s from the Eastman School of Music, Sheppard draws upon his diverse musical background delivering musical intellect, commanding technique with a warm inviting sound to every performance.
As a passionate music educator, Sheppard is a part-time faculty member at the USC Thorton School of Music, and frequently a guest clinician at colleges around the country.