When a person wants to hear fresh music, after not hearing it for a while, the first thing out of one's mouth is Finally!
Tony Exum, Jr. felt much the same in releasing his debut album of that name.
Born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO, and as a kid growing up between the Springs, Germany, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Exum's musical interests were started by his uncle, Larry Francis, Jr., also a saxophonist who had played in the Ft. Carson, CO army bands, and his mother's vast record collection, which featured such jazz heavyweights as Jeff Lorber, George Howard, Charlie Parker, and Najee, to name a few. His interest sufficiently piqued, Exum entered the prestigious Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, and began his tutelage under the world-renowned M. Lynn Baker, M.A. and Art Bouton, M.A.
In 1996, Exum joined with Meadowlark Jivin', a funk-filled jazz/blues/soul group local to Ft. Collins, CO and spearheaded by Brian Hull, and continued touring and recording with them for 7 years. Throughout it all, he had also stepped out on his own within the Colorado music scene and soon found himself opening for and performing with such notables as the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Manhattans, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Nelson Rangell, Marion Meadows, and many others.
Exum's debut album, aptly titled, Finally! is an example in arranging. He effortlessly blends his saxes with R&B, soul, and funk flavors, and his own composition skills are well-complemented by the production work of keyboardist/drummer James Roberson. Contemplative with Thinking Of You, sharp and funky with Give it To Me, and sleek R&B-tinged Music In Me serve as proof positive to Exum's versatility.
Tony Exum, Jr. still resides in Colorado Springs, CO, routinely travels to both perform at and attend jazz festivals, and had released ÒFinally!Ó in May of 2010. The album is available via Amazon.com, CDBaby.com and iTunes.