Smooth jazz pioneers Pieces of a Dream commemorates the group's 25th anniversary with the release of Acquainted with the Night. The enhanced disc is the Philadelphia-based band's first for Heads Up International.
"When we started recording there wasn't even a smooth jazz category yet, let alone a radio station for it," reminiscences co-founder and keyboardist James Lloyd. "We were just playing music from the heart. The fact is we're young enough to look forward to a 50th anniversary ... so we're half way there."
The silver anniversary release features many guest musicians including British acid jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan, vocalist Maysa Leak, and saxophonists Gerald Albright and Kenny Blake.
"There's quite an array of writers on the new release," says drummer Curtis Harmon, who co-founded the band along with Lloyd. "From Gerald Albright to Michael Bearden along with remakes of 'Mahogany' and 'Upside Down.' And as usual, we did some of our own writing as well. I think the collection of different songs makes it a very unique album."
Both Lloyd and Harmon say they feel the move to Heads Up International is a milestone for the band. "We've never had this much support before," says Harmon. "Dave Love is as musically inclined of a company president as we've come across," raves Lloyd. "He was in the studio the whole time and was really into it. He was a big help to the recording session. He has great instincts. It was a blessing to have him."
Pieces of a Dream will tour this spring and summer in support of Acquainted with the Night. Lloyd and Harmon say they hope to be included in several jazz festivals.