Ask most music aficionados for their take on the "Seattle Sound," and they'll offer murky images of "grunge," Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Kurt Cobain. But with their self-titled 1993 debut, Tony Gable & 206 created an infectious, soulful yet lighthearted "alternative to alternative," reaching out from the Pacific Northwest and into the Top 5 of all New Adult Contemporary airplay charts nationwide. Gable, who gained worldwide fame and exposure adding exotic textures to the touring and recording bands of superstar saxman Kenny G, has again gathered some of the city's brightest jazz players for the spirited and eclectic Seven Hills.
"Once more, our goal is to cut another slice of the jazzier side of the music being played in area code 206," says Tony of the collection, whose seven-member core is enhanced by the electric guitar charisma of John Raymond (who also produced Seven Hills) and, on the opening track, a sizzling piano solo by fusion legend Jeff Lorber. The first time out we introduced the 206 concept, and Seven Hills reflects a maturing of our group sound. There's more acoustic playing, more writing from the nucleus group, and more of my own percussion contributions here.''
"I feel like I'm overseeing a variety pack of what the hot sounds are in Seattle," he says. "Like Quincy or Ray Charles, I'm creating a positive environmont where musicians feel good about what they do. New York and L.A. have their own jazz scenes, their own sounds, and people need to be reminded that our region is a hotbed of activity as well.''