After a year and a half of social distancing, virtual concerts and live streams, Contemporary Jazz pioneers Pieces Of A Dream is back with Fired Up! With their 25th new recording set for release on October 15, 2021, their fast-approaching 45th Anniversary and a string of tour dates, the super-band’s mission is stronger than ever.
“We are committed, determined and fully prepared to get back in the groove again,” declares drummer Curtis Harmon. “This means doing all I can to ensure my God-given gifts and talents are used for something meaningful, not just for myself but for others as well.”
Pianist James Lloyd adds, “On our first in person gig recently, it was nothing short of magical. We didn’t want to leave the stage.
It was awesome being able to see our fan’s faces again, even if through masks.” The story of Pieces Of A Dream, who has opened for such luminaries as Miles Davis, Count Basie and James Brown, is a tale of destiny and brotherhood. Picture three starry-eyed fanatical teen musicians who manage to get discovered by Mister Magic (Grover Washington, Jr.), become teen sensations and go on to join the pantheon of musical wonders from the “City Of Brotherly Love” that includes, Gamble and Huff, Patti Labelle, John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, and The Roots. They have toured the world, sold over one million albums, and scored both Smooth Jazz and R&B radio hits along the way.
Pieces Of A Dream has long been revered for their signature fusion of Jazz, R&B, Funk, Pop and Blues. James Lloyd promises the new CD Fired Up!, will feel like coming home. “This new album runs the gamut of what our fans have come to expect: up-tempo, down-tempo, Funk, ballads, Latin-infused and party jams - it’s all Pieces!” he exclaims.
Check out the title track below.
James Lloyd and Curtis Harmon have been the nucleus of Pieces Of A Dream since its inception and played together as kids and members of the Ada Lewis Middle School jazz ensemble along with former member, bassist Cedric Napoleon. Danny Harmon, Curtis’ father and a jazz musician himself, became their manager and had the guys listening to the Modern Jazz Quartet, Ahmad Jamal and Oscar Peterson, as they developed their unique sound, blending their jazz roots with R&B, soul and funk. Taking their name from the Stanley Turrentine song “Pieces Of Dreams,” Pieces released three albums in quick succession, establishing their place in the world of Smooth Jazz: Pieces Of A Dream (1981), We Are One (1982) and Imagine This (1983). Those albums include some of their biggest early hits, including “Warm Weather,” “Mount Airy Groove” and “Fo Fi Fo.” Pieces Of A Dream recorded their Shanachie debut, In The Moment, in 2013, followed by 2015’s All In, 2017’s Just Funkin’ Around and On Another Note in 2019.
With the release of Fired Up!, Pieces Of A Dream is proving that they are still relevant, still swinging, still pushing and still searching to hold a sacred place in the hearts of their fans. Curtis Harmon states, “Although the pandemic altered the way we were able to deliver our music to people, we will always create music and find a way to make it available to those who want to hear it.” James Lloyd adds, “With what the world has experienced lately, I do feel that the importance of music and its powers have gained more recognition. However, I don’t feel that our role as artists has changed. Our goal is still to touch, heal, energize, and help people release.”