A Spy In Tortuga is Jeff Lisenby's first independent jazz
accordion album, and features several brand-new original
compositions by Lisenby, as well as several reinvented jazz
standards. The instrumentation is traditional jazz quartet:
bass, drums, guitar... and accordion. The additional sax,
vocalist, keyboards, or percussion here and there enhance
the album well.
"The accordion has been stereotyped for a long time,"
Lisenby said. "I want people to hear this CD, enjoy
it for its diversity, and hear the accordion as another
fine musical instrument, which can be used in any type of
can be heard on numerous country and Christian recordings
and recently worked as the Music Director for the Broadway
musical "Ring Of Fire". When asked why he chose
to record a jazz album, Lisenby answered, "I grew up
in Kansas City, MO, where there is a jazz commission, as
part of the city government. Because of that, I grew up
hearing many of the great national jazz figures who came
to town to play for us -- Count Basie, Monty Alexander,
Maynard Fergusson, Bill Evans, Chick Corea.
So I've been loving and playing jazz for a long time. I
like the freedom to play whatever I want in the improvised
sections, and I like the sound of a big band all playing
in ensemble." He
also adds, "There aren't a lot of jazz accordionists
around, but accordion is slowly coming back into style in
the United States. We're hearing it on more and more pop
albums. It seems like a good time to put a jazz accordion
CD on the market."
The result? Anyone who listens will be forced to admit,
on some level, accordion is decidedly cool.
WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS SAYING ABOUT JEFF LISENBY..."Jeff
is one of those rare musical talents that can play multiple
styles with such ease; and all of this on an accordion."
"Musical director Jeff Lisenby's playing (of keyboards,
accordion, and numerous other instruments) is always expert."
- Matthew Murray, TalkinBroadway.com
"There isn't any style that he can't play."
-Emily Iorg, The Kansas City Star