Keys To The City Vols. 1 & 2 NYEP’s spring release, spent 3 weeks in the CMJ’s Top Ten. Thanks to all the DJs out there who spun the record so heavily. We appreciate your support!


Just like the universe, NYEP is expanding. The original trio of pianist Pat Daugherty, bassist Tim Givens, and drummer Aaron Comess,  which grew to 6 members for their last  release ,now includes guitarist Teddy Kumpel and hornman Erik Lawrence.  After three instrumental releases that probed the Fender Rhodes electric piano sound, 2008’s King Mystery featured vocals, acoustic piano, and a diverse set of Daugherty originals that embraced jazz’s past while exploring its future. The new double CD, Keys To The City, continues this trend and takes the band into new musical terrain.

The expansion began as NYEP played out their 2007 release Blues in Full Moon. Leon Gruenbaum, keyboardist with Vernon Reid and James “Blood” Ulmer, began showing up at the bands gigs. “Leon is one of my favorite players and I invited him to bring his ax and sit in”, Pat says. “He did and has never left!” His axe is an instrument of his own creation, the Samchillian. In the early 90’s Pat and Leon shared the piano chair at vocalist Deanna Kirk’s NY restaurant, a jazz spot that was the center of a burgeoning scene.

One night at a Cutting Room gig Deanna, who has performed with Eartha Kitt and Cecil Taylor, sat in on Pat’s song “Why are we here?”  The crowd was mesmerized and that song found its way onto King Mystery Deanna had become part of the band. Soon vocalist Ava Farber was coming to the band’s gigs and as the vocal selections increased she found her way into the band.

Pat has known guitar wizard Teddy Kumpel for a decade in the East Village and is a fan of his trio and finally asked Teddy to play with the band and thankfully he agreed! NYEP fans have embraced his contributions with enthusiasm. For this new recording Erik Lawrence , a stalwart of the scene who has played with Aaron, Tim, Teddy, and Deanna in various configurations, came in and played saxes and flute and his presence is galvanizing.

Suddenly all these musicians with a shared sense of community have become the new NYEP. Their chemistry on Keys To The City is boundless and not to be missed. Bill Milkowski has said of NYEP, “From start to finish, this highly interactive trio grooves with crackling intensity and a rare degree of group think”.

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