Bout Time Volume 1
A native of New York, tenor saxophonist Bernard Scavella began learning to play clarinet at age 11. By the time he was 13 he had switched to the saxophone and enrolled in the High School of Music and Art. It was there that he shaped and polished his musical gifts along with fellow students Billy Cobham, jazz drummer, and Eddie Gomez, bassist. Barbra Streisand and Bess Myerson are fellow alums of this important school. Even before he earned his high school diploma Scavella was working the New York jazz club scene. At age 16 he was already developing an enviable reputation as an up and coming player. It was this growing reputation that led to an introduction to Joe Henderson, who took Bernard as a private student. Their work together firmly planted Scavella in the stylistic path that he travels today. Before he left New York City in his early 20's, Scavella had already racked up an impressive list of credits, having worked with several jazz luminaries, including George Coleman and Clark Terry at renowned venues such as the Village Gate, the Village Vanguard, and the Blue Note. Once here in Chicago, Scavella quickly found himself in demand working with local big bands as lead alto saxophonist. During this time he worked with Freddie Cole and Johnny Hartman, among many others. In 1978 he began a long and rewarding creative collaboration spanning several years as principal writer and arranger with the Groovemasters' while serving as the group's multi-reed player. The group gained a significant reputation during it's long run at the southside club Chic Rics which resulted in a featured act status at several Chicago Fest's (the precursor of today's Taste of Chicago), and numerous engagements at Chicago jazz landmarks Pops for Champagne and the Jazz Showcase. In 2007, Scavella has self-released a 2-volume jazz album 'Bout Time, which features five original compositions and nine covers, three of which are covers of compositions by his mentor, Joe Henderson. While Scavella's style definitely shows Henderson's early training, his voice is ultimately his own: intelligent, highly-charged and evocative.