Label: Origin Records
So Near, So Far; Blue; Highway Blues; I Have A Dream; The Jordy Strut; Apparitions; In Her Family; Speakin' Out; My One And Only Love.
Origin Records celebrates the 20th Anniversary of an album that ended up as a centerpiece of the catalog over these decades. The members of New Stories each played a significant role in the sound of the label through their early contributions to multiple recordings, but it was their 2000 release with saxophonist Ernie Watts that added an international presence for the label, through the inclusion of "Highway Blues" as an embedded sound file in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. With XP selling 700 million copies over the next decade, "Highway Blues" was an easily accessed sound file in those pre-digital music days. Since then, the album's sales have remained steady and - completely unforeseen - the track was a go-to source for background music to those discovering and learning to use the new Youtube platform, providing music for thousands of videos (including untold numbers featuring cats!). Teaming again with Ernie Watts, Origin and the trio celebrated the anniversary with a reunion concert at the 2019 Ballard Jazz Festival, captured completely in HD video by Northwest radio station, KNKX.
From their inception in 1988 and over the next 20 years, Seattle-based New Stories divided its time between performing as a trio and as the backup group to some of the greatest names in jazz. They have four recordings of their own, six with the late be-bop saxophone great Don Lanphere, and the Grammy nominated Song for the Geese for RCA with Mark Murphy. The trio was a house group for 17 years at Bud Shank's Pt. Townsend Jazz Festival; was the first US jazz group to headline in the former USSR's far east - at the 1993 JVC Jazz Festival in Vladivostok, Russia; appeared in concert with Tom Harrell, Nick Brignola, Slide Hampton, Conte Condoli, Bobby Shew, Jon Faddis, & Larry Coryell, and regularly presented concerts and clinics around the country by themselves or in appearances with Don Lanphere, Mark Murphy or Ernie Watts. Their music was included on a compilation CD for Universal Music: Repertoire: A Starbuck's Collection of Unforgettable Piano Jazz, and "Highway Blues" from Speakin' Out was embedded as a music sample in Windows XP. Their 2004 release, Hope is in the Air: the Music of Elmo Hope, was produced by Don Sickler at Rudy Van Gelder's legendary studio in NJ, and spent several months on the charts.