Saxophone player Paul Sawtelle has an impressive resume in the music business. But he's never had an album to call his own. Until now.
"Virtual Insanity" was released last week and on Saturday Sawtelle and his band, The Brotherhood of Soul, are having a release party at Jazzbones in Tacoma.
A performer for over 30 years Sawtelle has worked as a big band leader, arranger, session player and soloist on a career's worth of recording projects and shows.
In 1993 he performed for presidential sax fan Bill Clinton during a Seattle visit.
Sawtelle, a Tacoma native and Puyallup resident, said Jazzbones seemed like the ideal venue to hold the release party.
“I wanted to do it in front of my home town crowd to celebrate the fact it could be done,” Sawtelle said.
"Virtual Insanity" is a collection of some of Sawtelle's favorite songs along with two he co-wrote with Grammy-nominated composer Jeff Lorber.
Sawtelle said the album is not a watered down smooth jazz compilation.
"I went back before smooth jazz. The jazz that I grew up with. You can hum a tune to it."
While it's rooted in funk/rock/jazz instrumentals it also incorporates vocals.
Vocalist Izzy Parker and hip hop artist Mr. Von join in on "Why Can't We Live Together."
"I had to make (the song) my own," Sawtelle said. "I thought Mr. Von would tell a good story."
Sawtelle, who plays both the tenor and soprano sax, said his new role took some getting used to. "Learning to be the front man instead of the side man and being more exposed to the audience more than I'm used to."
Sawtelle just returned from a week-long trip to Copenhagen where he was playing shows with Denmark and Seattle-based country singer-songwriter Jessica Lynne. Lynne provides vocals on a number of tracks on the new album.
The album was recorded at London Bridge Studios in the fall of 2014 and produced by Geoff Ott. It's released on the London Tone Music label.
Up and coming Tacoma rocker Nolan Garrett, who performs on one of the tracks, "Stubble Trouble," will open along with Mr. Von.