Just a Modern Day Soul Man
Nick Rolfe was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Seattle, Washington. He began studying piano at the age of six, learning both classical and modern pop repertoire. In 1992 he was accepted into Cornish College of the Arts, the leading music school in Seattle. At Cornish he was heavily influenced by his early mentors, trombonist Julian Priester and saxophonist Hadley Caliman. After two years of collegiate studies, Nick moved to New York City and completed his B.F.A, in music performance, at the New School for Social Researches' Mannes Conservatory. Nick Rolfe is a highly versatile musician, currently playing with various jazz, R&B, gospel, funk and alternative groups in and around New York. Nick has toured/ performed with numerous artists including saxophonist Frank Foster, drummer Charlie Persip, bassist Eddie Gomez, alto-saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, saxophonist Billy Harper, bassist Buster Williams, bassist Reggie Workman, bassist Cecil McBee, drummer Cecil Brooks III, saxophonist Don Braden, trombonist Steve Turre, bassist John Lee, saxophonist Benny Golson, drummer Winard Harper, drummer Gene Lake, actress/vocalist Carrie Smith and actor/comedian Dave Chappelle (including Dave's critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut), vocalist Grady Tate, 2x Grammy Nominated Russell Gunn and Ethnomusicology, and famed celebrity lawyer Johnny Cochran. With this latest project, 'Just A Modern Day Soul Man' Nick introduces the listener to his soulful vocal delivery and impressive songwriting. Rolfe enlisted close friends, drummer Gene Lake (of Meshell N'degeocello, Surface, David Sanborn fame) and bassist Carlos Henderson (of Erika Badu, Amel, Q-tip fame) to help in creating the greasy, grimy, FUNKY pocket the rhythm section puts down on this record. To add the needed textures, master percussionist Kevin 'Bujo' Jones (of Whitney Houston, Isley Brothers, Archie Shepp fame) and guitarists Dave Manley (with Musiq Soulchild) and Carl Burnett (with Ethnomusicology) all contributed on the highest level. Aiding Rolfe in rounding out the vocals are the beautiful and talented duo of Rucyl Mills (former member of alt. Hip-hoppers The Goats) and Heather Rose led by the in-demand vocal talents of Curtis King (works with Madonna, Cheryl Crow, Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean, James Taylor, to name a few). Adding the final touches are two of the most cutting edge young musicians in the international jazz/improvisational music scene: Trumpeter Russell Gunn (who leads his own 2x Grammy Nominated, ahead of it's time band Ethnomusiclogy) and Alto Saxophonist Bruce Williams (Little Jimmy Scott, Oliver Lake and bandleader in his own right). Says Rolfe, ' My goal with this project was to create a record that echoed the testaments of the soul legends of the past ( Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Shuggie Otis to name a few), the modern contributions of some of my contemporaries (such as D'angelo, Meshell N'degeocello, Maxwell, etc) and mix in my own sound. I also wanted to incorporate my strong jazz influences in the form of improvisation.' A daunting task, to say the least, but Rolfe handles this melting pot of styles tastefully. Everything feels easy and effortless yet the underlying groove is THICK. This is the kind of soul you can shake- it on the dance floor to, sit back and bob your head to, or settle in and vibe to. There's something for the average listener and something for the pro's. Enjoy the journey.