Gabe Dixon – vocals/keyboards
Winston Harrison – bass
Jano Rix – drums
In the three years since the acclaimed release of On A Rolling Ball, the major label debut album from The Gabe Dixon Band, the band's keyboardist/vocalist/ composer and namesake - Gabe Dixon - has kept busy spending time behind the keyboards for artists as varied as Paul McCartney, Alison Krauss, and Loggins & Messina; co-writing with Grammy ® Award nominee Dan Wilson (Semisonic) and Grammy® Award winner Wayne Kirkpatrick (Eric Clapton's "Change The World"); paring down his band to a muscular three piece; and refining a sound that embraces the directness of pop, the energy of rock and the sex of soul while staying true to a jazz-inspired improvisational spirit.
The experiences of the last few years have turned this already respected talent into one of the most original young artists on the scene today. A dazzling snapshot of Dixon 's ongoing evolution can be heard on Live At World Cafe, a six song EP recorded earlier this year that captures Dixon and his colleagues -- bassist Winston Harrison and drummer Jano Rix -- live before a concert audience and in-studio at Philadelphia 's World Cafe.
Live At World Cafe features live versions of four new Dixon originals, a fan favorite from their debut album ("More Than It Would Seem"), and a slow-burning, show-stopping rendition of the Hendrix classic "Hey Joe." Co-writing on the new originals was split equally between noted tunesmiths Wayne Kirkpatrick ("Ever After You" & "Shallow") and Dan Wilson ("Five More Hours" & "All Will Be Well") who also mixed the EP. Says Dixon of his co-writers: "Dan & Wayne both have such a great songwriting resume, and musical sensibility, that to just have them around was invaluable. They were great to bounce ideas off of, and to tap into to help focus the songs."
Formed while students at the University of Miami, word of The Gabe Dixon Band's live shows had spread up to New York City, where they had relocated after graduation, when the band were signed to Warner Bros./Reprise by famed producer David Kahne (Fishbone, Sublime, Sugar Ray). It was through Kahne that Paul McCartney first heard Dixon, and shortly thereafter Dixon was helming the keyboards on McCartney's Driving Rain album and in front of millions at the "Concert For New York" to raise funds for the victims of the 9/11 attack: "Having the chance to make music with great artists like Paul McCartney has been a tremendous education," enthuses Dixon. "From a performing aspect, you learn so much just watching how they interact with an audience, while in the studio you have that very rare privilege of being one-on-one with a master. The thing that struck me most about Paul was how effortless it seemed for him to make such beautiful music; doing what he does with such ease because he is so in touch with his own creative voice. For me, it reinforced that I need to follow my instincts and impulses in the moment; I've found that I can trust those instincts and those moments more than anything else when it comes to my music."
Before moving to New York, the band was trimmed to a four-piece, and since the release of On A Rolling Ball the band has again distilled its essence and its sound by bringing the line-up down to its current trio of piano, drums and bass: "Originally we had five members including guitar and sax, and as we got closer to the core of the group, it seemed like more space opened up in the sound. Going from five to four allowed a lot of room to stretch out and improvise while still performing songs, but I still didn't feel like we had peeled back all the layers to get to the core. I needed to get to the center of the music -- to the song and the groove."
It is ultimately that "center" that is represented on Live At World Cafe. In the great tradition of bands like The Police and Cream, The Gabe Dixon Band forges ahead as a trio with a sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. Live At World Cafe captures the energy and intimacy at the center of one of their renowned live shows, and gives us a glimpse at the center of a musical moving target - an artist who has never stopped exploring and expanding the expressive reach of his art. Live At World Cafe is the first opportunity for his legions of loyal fans to experience the next chapter in Gabe Dixon's lifelong passion for music. It won't be the last: The revamped Gabe Dixon Band will be touring extensively throughout the remainder of the year with plans for the next studio album currently taking shape.