Release Date: January 5, 2015
Meet M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records’ new jazz artist, Reggie Codrington.
Discerning jazz fans searching for something new to get jazzed about don’t need to look too hard, they just need to get hip to the melodic, cool, old school soul meets contemporary funk sound of saxophonist and national recording artist, Reggie Codrington.
With the success of his latest album, titled Always In Motion, and countless performances that have earned him thousands of devoted fans, Reggie is without a doubt, one of the most popular saxophonists on the scene today. His talent has lead him to share the stage with notable artists such as, Kim Waters, Ramsey Lewis, Kevin Toney, Frankie Beverly and Maze, and Charlie Wilson, to name a few.
While the Fayetteville, North Carolina native may be new on some people’s radars, he is actually no stranger to music. Reggie has been performing and recording for over a decade, with nine previous albums to his credit, several of which are under the name Reggie C. The towering company he keeps powerfully confirms Reggie Codrington’s emergence in smooth jazz circles. His latest album titled, Always in Motion, features #1 recording artist NILS’ (who produced the project, composed some of these wildly infectious pieces, and lends his slick guitar, bass, keyboards and drum programming), to keyboard master Jeff Lorber, and the late, great R&B/jazz drummer icon, Ricky Lawson. Even more impressive is the glorious father/son horns of Reggie and his trumpeter dad Ray, whose tandem magic drives the emotion of most of the tracks.
Since the release of his last album in 2012 titled, Vicarious Experience, Reggie Codrington has enjoyed a true whirlwind of activity and performances in a multitude of events at many of the city’s upscale clubs, restaurants (including a seven year stint at The Hilltop House and four years at The Trio Café). and the Highland Country Club. In 2010, he performed in the city at an event called Stone Soul Picnic, opening for renowned urban sax great Kim Waters.
Throughout his career, the soprano saxophone player has also opened for numerous music legends, including Ramsey Lewis, keyboardist Kevin Toney, and Frankie Beverly & Maze and Charlie Wilson. Perhaps the most notable of these for the North Carolina native was receiving an invitation to perform at the Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, January 2012. Codrington also played at the star studded Black Caucus Ball in Washington, DC, and was later invited to perform jazz, gospel, and Christian rock music at eight concerts in villages in Guatemala, followed by another performance in Antigua. Always on the go and in demand, Reggie has since performed at various jazz concerts, festivals, and venues. Further showing that there is more to his musical palette than the smooth and urban jazz vibe he is best known for, Reggie proudly plays for Word of Life Christian Church in Woodbridge, VA every Sunday; a standing engagement that began in September 2014.
Like many veteran recording artists who have taken many recordings to break through, Reggie has survived his share of disappointments in the music industry, even as he has made a living performing for many years. That commitment to overcoming obstacles stems from the difficulties in his childhood of dealing with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (ACP), a chronic condition that affects muscle coordination and depth perception. Receiving a curved soprano sax on his 18th birthday led to a major transformation, offering Reggie a comfortable way to play that he had not previously experienced. “Something magical happened, and I knew I had found my niche,” he says. “I fell in love.”
Throughout the journey of writing and recording Always in Motion, NILS’ – whose crackling lead and rhythm guitar lines complement Codrington’s trademark soprano and occasional alto/soprano lead melodic lines – was able to grant Codrington’s “wish list” of collaborators. The groove-packed 10 track set includes keyboardist Jeff Lorber, some of the last sessions ever by the late drum legend Ricky Lawson, trumpeter Johnny Britt, bassist Reggie McBride and drummer Joey Heredia. “I always loved NILS’ music and thought this would be the perfect time to do something different from the past,” says Reggie. He goes on to say, “NILS’ really pushed me beyond what I thought I could do emotionally. In the past, I might run through a solo once and be satisfied, but NILS’ would say, I think you have another one in you! Along with his sonic expertise, this kind of work ethic gave this album something fresh, a new vibe that is helping me evolve as an artist in ways I never expected.”
Reggie Codrington’s masterful blend of smooth jazz, old school soul, and elements of contemporary funk is nothing short of brilliant. To experience his musical flavor is to understand his popularity, and know why he is one of the most requested jazz artists on the scene today.