After a decade of working with his project Diverse, Paris and Kansas City based trumpeter Hermon Mehari is releasing his first album as a leader. Bleu features Aaron Parks on keyboards and piano, Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Rick Rosato on bass, Ryan J. Lee on drums, and Peter Schlamb on vibraphone and electric vibraphone. It will be available starting Friday, March 17th.
Bleu is comprised of an eclectic mix of originals, standards, and covers. “My goal has always been to utilize my variety of musical inspirations within a jazz context and I’m happy to say that I was able to do just that with this band and this music,” says Mehari.
Invigorated and inspired from winning the Carmine Caruso International Trumpet Jazz Competition and being a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition, Hermon Mehari finally felt ready to display his musical concept as a leader through recording. He has spent the past ten years touring and performing with musicians such as Bobby Watson, Logan Richardson, Jaleel Shaw, Ben van Gelder as well as many others that certainly prove he is no stranger to the jazz scene.
Many of Mehari’s past projects and collaborations have involved singers, emcees, and musicians from all types of genres. The influence of this is shown throughout Bleu, especially in the cover of NYC-based singer songwriter Nick Hakim’s “Cold” with special guest vocalist Kevin Johnson.
In addition, Bleu carries the theme of its namesake. “I feel strongly about this color being present in my playing and my music. My time in Kansas City has had this strong effect on me, which I think you can also hear in many other musicians that come from there throughout history,” says Mehari.
Bleu will be available on all major digital retailers on Friday, March 17th. It will also be available on CD in select stores in the United States, as well as select countries in Europe and Asia.