After over 30 years of playing together and working as sidemen both in Detroit and throughout the United States and abroad, Dane Bays and Alex Brooks are forming their own Quartet to bring their experience, energy, and passion to audiences everywhere and are in the process of recording this group’s debut CD, Time’s Up, to be released in early 2020. Known for their trademark sax and drum duets, this group plays straight ahead NYC style jazz and they are coming to burn, believe it!
Alto saxophonist, composer, and Inarhyme Records recording artist (https://inarhymerecords.com/), DANE BAYS is one of a handful of saxophonists mentored by legendary Detroit alto saxophonist Larry Smith (other students include James Carter and Kenny Garrett). Known for his versatility, big sound, and emotional conviction, Bays has played extensively throughout the United States and abroad and continues to be in high demand.
A child prodigy, Bays began playing professionally at age 11 and at 16 was the first high school student ever admitted early to the Manhattan School of Music. 16 was also the age Bays got the gig with the Alex Brooks Trio which played 6 nights a week at legendary Detroit Jazz club, Bert’s in Eastern Market, opening up for MoTown’s top acts all of whom came through Bert’s at that time, including the great master Larry Smith. A better school there never has been!
Based in Detroit, Bays has played with Motown’s finest including artists ranging from Dwight Adams, Kelvin Sholars, Marion Hayden, Ralphe Armstrong, Ibrihim Jones, Bill Meyers, Phil Hale, Sandra Bomar, Mike Fegaros, Damon Warmack, Zion Ysreal (f/k/a Henry Gibson), Calvin Brooks and John Douglas, to soul singers Tosha Owens, Ursula Walker, and Chelly K, to rapper D. Priest, and rock guitar legend Kenny Olson (kid rock, chaka khan etc). He has also performed nationally with organ great “Captain” Jack McDuff, as well as Ron Bridgewater, Bunky Green, Von Freeman, and Keith Javors, and recently performed at the 2019 Pula Jazz Fest in Croatia with prominent west coast vocalist Nicolas Bearde (best known for his work with Bobby McFerrin and Vincent Herring’s NYC big band).
Bays is also the founder of the critically acclaimed American Music Project (“AMP”) whose debut album, On The Bright Side, garnered grammy consideration in 2010 and received 3 & 1/2 stars out of 4 in Downbeat Magazine: “…kudos to them all for making a forthright effort to bring in many aspects of the African American musical vibe, connecting the dots between post-bop and rap…On The Bright Side attepts to say it all…melding attitude, a serious backbeat, and a hopeful message.” John Ephland, DB magazine. AMP also just headlined the 2019 Pula Jazz Fest in Croatia and featured Dusan Kranjc on drums (from the hit group 2 Cellos). For full Downbeat Magazine Review see http://www.downbeat.com/digitaledition/2010/DB201002/default.html at pg. 63.
Drummer ALEX BROOKS is a Detroit legend. A child prodigy Brooks began playing with the masters around Motown as a teenager. Known for his blazing fast tempos and unparalleled “Fire”, Brooks has played extensively with every Jazz great in the Detroit area you can think of, including Teddy Harris, Larry Smith, Donald Waldon, Marcus Belgrave, Gary Shunk, Wendell Harrison, Dwight Adams, Rod Hicks, Don Mayberry, Rodney Whitaker, Robert Lowe, James Carter, Marlena Shaw and pretty much anyone else you can think of. Brooks also toured the United States and Europe with Matt “Guitar” Murphy and the Blue Brothers Band and spent several months touring Africa with the late great Sam Sanders. He has also played with Bunky Green, toured and recorded with Philadelphia based pianist Keith Javors, did a hugely successful live radio broadcast gig with the late great Mulgrew Miller, is a member of AMP, and recently played the 2019 Detroit Jazz Fest with The Calvin Brooks Trio featuring Gerrard Gibbs on the Pyramid Stage. Brooks continues to be one of the most sought after drummers in Detroit and is constantly wowing audiences throughout the city with his heart, energy, and jaw dropping solos!
As for bass and piano The Bays/Brooks Quartet hires based upon availability but given their collective experience in Detroit they have access to the top musicians in the region. The preferred group and the one featured on this group’s upcoming debut CD, Time’s Up, to be released in 2020, includes Jaribu Shahid on bass, and Jim David on piano (alternates include Ibrihim Jones on bass and Zion Yisreal on piano). Each accomplished in their own right, the versatility and technical virtuosity of Jim David, coupled with the intelligence and creativity of Jaribu Shahid, and the unparalleled energy and chops of Alex Brooks makes for one of the finest rhythm sections MoTown has to offer! Add Bays to the mix and the Bays/Brooks Quartet promises to deliver an original and energy packed experience for all involved!