Thoughtful, deliberate, robust, and energetic – are some of the ingredients that make up Original State. The evolution of this project spans the last three years, and, in that time, Keith has experienced loss. Most notably the death of his father Alvin Loftis, Jr., in 2018. More recently of course the entire world has been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 which remains a challenge to all of us.
In the face of adversity and joy, music (and all the arts) often stands at the forefront of healing, change, inspiration, and resiliency. Featuring Pianist John Chin, Bassist Eric Wheeler, Drummer Willie Jones, III, and two-time Grammy winner Bassy Bob Brockmann as an engineer, Original State debuts six original compositions and original by Pianist / Composer Michael Stanton “Premonition” and the standard “Weaver of Dreams”, by Victor Young.
Original State explores the essence and depth of Keith’s continual transformation as an artist. A self-exploration of the soul is delivered through his music. Keith opens the album with a shout-out to the neighborhood in Dallas where he grew up with an energy-packed original, Oak Cliff. This cut also pays tribute to his long-time friend and collaborator, the late Roy Hargrove who also hails from Oak Cliff. Another track titled “Brigitte’s Smile” is a playful and dynamic salute to his wife Brigitte Barnett Loftis. Brigitte’s Smile features a dynamic solo by John Chin followed by a rousing solo by Keith, Eric follows on bass and the tune wraps with the ensemble bouncing back and forth trading fours to the conclusion.
The recording session itself was also unique in that it was recorded acoustically with the Quartet set-up in one room together. This format allowed the group to truly collaborate as one playing off the synergy of the room. Recorded at the Yamaha Piano Salon in NYC, Original State is a “must-have” and proves once again that Keith is delivering his essence, spontaneity, and passion.
Original State is Keith at his best!
Terry D. Loftis
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Keith Loftis – Tenor & Soprano Saxophone
John Chin – Piano
Eric Wheeler – Bass
Willie Jones III – Drums