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Andrew Carney: Press

Despite Ill Winds, Trumpeter Carney Blows Well Times, Thursday, March 31, 1994
A series of minor misfortunes before the set at Spaghettini’s did not diminish the effect of the music.

By BILL KOHLHAASE
Special to the Times

SEAL BEACH – To say that trumpeter Andrew Carney’s appearance Tuesday at Spaghettini’s came off without a hitch wouldn’t be honest. Murphy’s law may not have been in full effect (after all, not everything that could have gone wrong did), but Carney’s patience was sorely tested.

The 7:30 p.m. starting time found Carney noodling on the piano, waiting for his pianist. Carney’s drummer had canceled earlier. Lost somewhere between Woodland Hills and the Orange county line, the pianist arrived eventually.

But before he did, the trumpeter – ever the professional – called another pianist who lived nearby. Of course by the time the sub had arrived, pianist #1 was already at the keyboard.

In the hour before either accompanist showed, Carney took the time to pose for photos and talk. The Long Beach-based musician, who makes the bulk of his living doing session and other commercial work, chatted about the drawbacks of playing the club scene, then explained why he continues to do it.

“This is what being a jazz musician is all about,” he said, “playing out in front of an audience and getting a response.” Then, with the keyboardist in tow, he proceeded to do just that.

Oh, and one other thing: That Carney himself made the gig is a bit of a surprise. Three weeks ago, he had a non-malignant, “golf-ball sized” tumor removed from his neck, and he sported the scar to prove it. The doctors weren’t sure he’d be able to play after the operation. Luckily, he was.

In fact, if he hadn’t made the modest mention of the surgery, one might not have been able to tell from his performance. Carney, who claims to practice six hours a day, seemed intent on showing that his chops were up, employing long passages of circular breathing, a technique that allows him to play seemingly unending phrases without stopping for breath.

It’s a neat little trick that more and more saxophonists are using, but few trumpeters are capable of.

While some use circular breathing merely for grandstanding (Kenny G wows his audiences by holding a single, sustained tone for nearly two minutes), Carney puts the technique to good use, continuing his narrative unbroken rather than drawing attention to the ploy.

Backed only by piano, he used these long passages as a means of creating dynamic tension, since there was no percussionist to raise the excitement level behind him.

Playing through the pickup microphone clipped to the bell of his horn, Carney applied an electric echo effect that often gave his playing an eerie sense of déjà vu. This made the open space he left between notes as important as the notes themselves, as what he just finished playing reverberated around him.

The technique was used to great effect in “Little Sunflower” as the trumpeter constructed swirling strings of notes.

The pianist’s own solos were expansive affairs, and he used a strangely tuned note on the Spaghettini piano as a touchstone, giving his playing a gospel-like feel. At other times, he was lush and romantic, giving his sound the same kind of mystical color that decorates the work of keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith.

The two combined for a soulful version of “Autumn Leaves” that had both pensive and rhythmic airs. Carney kicked in his own synthesizer for programmed drums and horn section on an original ballad that, because of his clever computer work, sounded anything but canned.

The trumpeter also played a bass-toned solo on the synthesizer during “Bags Groove” that brought a hearty response from the uncharacteristically attentive Spaghettini's crowd. All in all, Carney's first set was worth the wait.
Bill Kohlhasse - Los Angeles Times
Jazz artist climbs back on the road to success Laguna News-Post, March 30, 1995
And Shakespeare hangs out in Mission Viejo

By AMY WOODS
The News

Jazz artist Andrew Carney has overcome a big obstacle in the past year, but he’s still playing a mean trumpet.

“I’m playing better than I ever have before,” the 32-year-old Long Beach resident said.

Last February, Carney didn’t know if he would ever play again. He underwent surgery for a tumor behind his ear.

“It erased my ability to play,” he said. “I spent all of last year playing – five to six hours a day – to try to get it back.”

Today, Carney is performing, writing and recording like never before. He is close to releasing his first solo album, “Home Again,” and has kept busy doing commercials – one of them for a Saturday morning Spiderman cartoon.

“Everything works like it’s supposed to, now,” Carney said. “It took awhile.”

Sunday, Carney will perform at the Renaissance Café in Laguna Beach. A one-man show, he delivers a blend of contemporary jazz, rhythm and blues, Latin and gospel.

Originally from Carson, Carney said he has always loved music.

“I drove my parents crazy because I’d sing myself to sleep,” he said. “I’d make up songs.”

But that was mere child’s play. When Carney turned 15, he took up the trumpet and flugelhorn professionally. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in music education from California State University, Los Angeles, he has written more than 200 songs, to date.

“I’ll hear a melody – something catch – and I’ll run over and hum it into the tape recorder,” he said. “Then, I’ll build an arrangement around that.”

His instrumentals have been used on several recordings, including the 1991 gospel compact disc, “Montage.” He’s also performed with such artists as Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan.

Carney will play from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The Renaissance is at 234 Forest Ave. For information call 497-JAVA.
Amy Woods - Laguna News-Post
Reviews of Playtime from Cd Baby:

Soul-stirring jazz, hearts sing as Playtime makes a joyful noise!

Andrew Carney's Playtime makes a joyful noise capturing the hearts of listeners with his sweet soul-stirring clarity on the trumpet and flugelhorn. The title song, Playtime, written by Carney, is jazz at its best. Highlighting his ability to sweeten the notes, is Over the Rainbow, as mellow as it gets and touching the heart. BZ, Ciao, Grand Theft, and Backstage, also Andrew Carney penned, show the brilliance and artistry of his musicianship. Yve Evans vocal rendition and keyboard playing of Jesus Loves me is unsurpassed, taking a well loved childhood hymn and turning it into a work of art with Andrew's help, and making it a very special production. The musicians that play on this CD are consummate professionals without exception. Tony Campondonico is outstanding on piano and keyboards, as are Kevin Axt, acoustic bass; Alex Al, electric bass; Doug Mathews, drums; Land Richards, drums (BZ and Backstage) Mike Smith, percussion (BZ and Backstage) Justo Almario, tenor saxophone (Grand Theft and trading on Oleo) Jeff Jorgenson, tenor saxophone (solo and trading on Oleo) and Rick White, acoustic guitar. In my opinion, this is a must-have CD for jazz lovers that enjoy superb music of the highest quality performances. I highly recommend Playtime and Andrew Carney!
Judi Smith - Jazz Lover
There is no sweeter sounding Trumpet or Flugelhorn one will hear "Sing' as Andrew.

Andrew Carney's Playtime is a Gift for all Seasons. Somewhere Over the Rainbow touches the heart with all the passion that makes one sing to the heavens, while the title cut, Playtime grooves straight ahead bringing the true sound of real musicianship, sensational arrangements and original ear candy splendor back into the mainstream. I promise you will play this over and over again, especially by candlelight or just riding in your car you will be groovin' to no end and will want to turn all your friends on to this keepsake of sounds by the mezmerizing Andrew Carney and friends!!
Lisa Gay - Vocalist
Trumpet jazz-A nice mix of contemporary and straight-ahead jazz

I really enjoyed this CD! Andrew's trumpet playing is both lyrical and intense. Backed by a great band, they explore a set of nine songs, including standards as well as originals. A nice mix of straight-ahead and contemporary jazz. Well recorded and produced. Check it out!
Robert Kyle - Saxophonist/Composer
Liner Notes from "Playtime".

PLAYTIME – ANDREW CARNEY

JAZZ MUSIC IS THE ONLY KNOWN ART FORM THAT IS LITERALLY MADE UP ON THE SPOT.
ANDREW CARNEY HAS MADE UP SOME PRETTY GOOD JAZZ MUSIC, ON THE SPOT, OVER THE YEARS. SINCE I FIRST MET HIM. I’VE SEEN AND HEARD HIM DO IT ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS WITH SEVERAL DIFFERENT BANDS. I HAVE MOST OFTEN SEEN HIM IN THE BAND OF SINGER / VOCALIST YVE EVANS. AND HE HAS ALWAYS DELIVERED A MASTERFUL PERFORMANCE. HIS WORK ON THIS COLLECTION OF SONGS IS NO DIFFERENT AND GOES BEYOND WHAT I’VE SEEN AND HEARD HIM DO BEFORE. FOR ONE THING, HE’S THE LEADER. AS SUCH, HE SETS THE TEMPO AND CALLS THE SHOTS. THUS, HIS SOUND IS DIFFERENT IN TERMS OF ATTITUDE.
ANDREW ESTABLISHES THIS ATTITUDE EARLY AND INFECTS THE BAND WITH IT. THE RESULT IS THAT EVERYONE IS GOING IN THE SAME DIRECTION, AT THE SAME TIME, TOGETHER AS ONE VOICE.
NOTE THE TOGETHERNESS IN THE UPTEMPO, STRAIGHT – AHEAD POSTURE OF PIANIST TONY CAMPODONICO, BASSIST KEVIN AXT, AND DRUMMER DOUG MATHEWS ON THE OPENING TUNE THAT ALSO SERVES AS THE TITLE TRACK. PLAYTIME IS THE EMBODIMENT OF SWINGING HARD BOP BY THE QUARTET.
IT BECOMES A SMOOTH AFFAIR ON BZ. AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF HOW THE BAND CHANGES UP AND ROMPS WITH CONTROLLED EXUBERENCE. ELECTRIC BASSIST ALEX AL REPLACES KEVIN AND DRUMMER LAND RICHARDS REPLACES DOUG. MIKE SMITH IS ADDED TO DO PERCUSSION.
ANDREW AND GUITARIST RICK WHITE CARESS THE BALLAD SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW. THEY NURTURE IT IN A WAY THAT JUDY GARLAND NEVER COULD.
ANDREW HAS ALWAYS APPEARED TO BE TOTALLY AT EASE PLAYING HARD BOP. ON OLEO THE MAGNIFICENT TENOR SAXOPHONES OF JUSTO ALMARIO AND JEFF JORGENSON JOIN HIM AS KEVIN AND DOUG RETURN TO FUEL THE DRIVING RHYTHM.
THE NEARNESS OF YOU HAS A SMOOTH JAZZ QUALITY TO THE ARRANGEMENT AND THAT PROMPTS THE RETURN TO A MORE MELLOW TONE FOR THE CATS TO GROOVE TO.
THE GROOVE CONTINUES BEAUTIFULLY IN CIAO THAT STARTS OUT AS A BALLAD AND EVOLVES INTO A WALTZ THAT IS COMPLETELY RELAXING.
ANOTHER ARTFUL EXHIBITION IN THE STAIGHT AHEAD PROWESS IS ILLUSTRATED IN GRAND THEFT. IT ALSO HERALDS THE RETURN OF JUSTO’S GREAT WORK PUNCTUATED BY ANDREW IN WAYS THAT ARE REMINISCENT OF LEE MORGAN AND BOOKER LITTLE.
BACKSTAGE FEELS LIKE THE JOURNEY DOWN THROUGH THE DARKENED WALKWAY TO THE DRESSING ROOM AFTER THE LAST SET ON THE LAST NIGHT OF A LONG WEEKEND GIG. ANDREW EMPLOYS THE MUTE IN A WAY THAT WOULD MAKE MILES SMILE. MIKE SMITH’S PERCUSSION WORK SEALS THE DEAL.
THE NICE TOUCH TO ANY RECORDED COLLECTION OF SONGS IS THE ONE THAT SHOWCASES THE CLASS AND STYLE OF THE LEADER. ANDREW AND YVE PERFORMING JESUS LOVES ME IS THAT NICE TOUCH.
ANDREW CARNEY IS ONE OF THOSE JAZZMEN WHO IS GOING TO BE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME. THIS WILL NOT BE THE LAST THAT YOU’LL HERE OF HIM. IN FACT, I PREDICT THAT YOU WILL HEAR MUCH MORE FROM HIM IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
James Janisse - Program Host, Radio Station KKJZ 88.1 FM. Long Beach, California