You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
I’ve listened to music as long as I can remember, huddling under the staircase as an infant while my father blasted the theme from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly,” it’s taunting piccolo and the visceral growling of the chorus agitating my childhood psyche like a succubus to Victorian sensibilities. Yet my father, in retrospect, was an audio-tech geek in his young adulthood, and he turned that infatuation toward an eclectic collection of music that inspired me to actively listen to music of all kinds. In 1992, I became gainfully employed as a computer programmer for an international credit card processing company, and I met Jeff Smith, a bass playing computer programmer; thus began my more focused initiation into jazz, an introduction that turned into a passion. The passion then turned into a dream to record some really groovy tunes with some of the friends I’ve made throughout my jazzonian journey, really groovy tunes with our inimitable interpretation. Rusty and Friends is the quartet that quickened from that dream. This recording, Southern Standard Time, is the result of our group’s active growth and development. It is our gift to the world. As adumbrated earlier, I met Jeff Smith through my introduction into the corporate world, a major chapter in my life with stories meant for telling at another fireside chat. I’ve had many people come up to me in the past and tell me that they play a musical instrument only to be disheartened when I heard them fumble through rudimentary chord changes, so when Jeff told me he played bass, I nodded and smiled. That smile turned into a Cheshire grin after I heard him play, and, as noted earlier, my love for jazz began. Together with Elwood Madeo and John David, we formed a version of the Eclectic Band and played around town; unfortunately, jazz in the South and my rudimentary skills appealed to few except our parents and a Mrs. Carol Ragsdale, who was an original founding member of the Columbus Jazz Society. What A Wonderful World was one of her favorite songs and is dedicated to her memory. Jeff also introduced me to the Columbus Jazz Society, www.ColumbusJazzSociety.com, and I’ve been a member since 1992. Check out the website; we’re bound to be the best jazz society in the southeast. Through this non-profit organization, I met the other members of the band including the sidemen, who are very special participants in this project, sending the synergetic level even higher. Tom Chadwick is our keyboard player and arranger; Jeff Smith plays bass; Mark Parker, Mr. Metronome, is our percussionist; and I am Rusty, the singer. Guest appearances on the recording include Dr. Paul Vanderghenst, former head of Columbus State University’s jazz program, who plays trombone. Fred Ezekiel is also a Columbus native who plays a wonderful tenor sax; he’s incendiary, man… enfuego… the bomb. Charles Parsons (trumpet) adds his inimitable talents to the project. Rusty and Friends has been practicing since the spring of 2009, working on groovy arrangements for Paul Desmond’s Take Five, Gentleman Jim Reeves’ He’ll Have To Go (a country classic waltz that we really swing), and George Shearing, George David Weiss’ Lullaby of Birdland. The other tunes on the recording are pretty straight forward, but, as in all jazz music, it contains elements that are strictly exclusive to the players and their interaction. It’s the auricular, life-affirming, thaumaturgic quintessence of Life itself. It is truly the history of a moment in time. And the journey has had some memorial moments Russell (Rusty) Allen Taylor
Rusty and Friends is a jazz quartet with Tom Chadwick on keyboards (he also composes some really groovy arrangements of popular songs in the jazz style); Mark Parker on drums; Jeff Smith on bass; and Rusty Taylor who provides the vocals. We have known each other for many years, primarily through supporting our local jazz club, the Columbus Jazz Society... Columbus, Georgia, that is. (Check out their website at www.ColumbusJazzSociety.com) About a year ago, Rusty approached Tom Chadwick with a request to record some vocal jazz standards. Mark and Jeff dug the idea, and the quartet started practicing. Along the way they had fun; the synergy created was addictive, so we decided to play. On December 21, 2009, we gigged at Carriage and Horses restaurant in Pine Mountain, Georgia, and the response was really positive. (Check out the restaurant's website at www.ComeToDagher.com -- Dagher, by the way, is the owner's name.) We were asked back on January 30, 2010 to reservations of over two hundred... Dagher had to turn down some potential customers. Of course, Dagher sponsored a wine tasting event, which attracts many patons, but quite a few came to hear the band, and the atmosphere was electric. Currently, we're finishing up the recording; hopefully, we'll be through after our next scheduled mixing session on Tuesday, March 2. We hope to be gigging afterwards. We've posted two songs on tis site; the maximum file size is 8 megabytes, then we have to pay, and these are somewhat lengthy jazz songs, so we've posted a couple of the smaller ones. As previously written, we're going back into the studio (The Loft Studio in Columbus, Georgia), so we still can make corrections to our recordings. Please listen to our sample songs, and if you have any critique, let us know what you think. If you dig it, share it with friends... become a fan of the group. If you don't like it, we merely ask that you silently deny listening to it... there's no need to bash us; we're just having fun. Thanks for the visit. We hope to see you soon on stage. Peace Through Music