Greg Skaff – Polaris CD


1. Old Devil Moon
2. Angelica
3. Little Waltz (duo)
4. Paris Eyes
5. Yesterdays
6. Mister RC
7. Lady in the Lavender Mist
8. Polaris
9. Little Waltz (trio)
10. Caminando
11. Ill Wind (solo)

$ 10.00

In stock

SKU: SMKJ-003-CD Category:

CD in 8-panel digipak featuring liner notes by Nate Chine, photography by Yasmine Skaff and John Hasselback III and art direction and design by Jamie Breiwick at B Side Graphics.

“The pandemic year of 2020 brought with it very little in terms of artistic endeavors, thanks to lockdowns and stay home orders. Yet even under extreme conditions, guitarist Greg Skaff managed to commit to tape some genuinely sublime music that is sure to be remembered as one of 2021’a most memorable releases.”
— C. Andrew Hovan, All About Jazz

“Not surprisingly, the guitarist oozes confidence and has some serious chops. Stylistically, his flowing lyricism combines the loping lines of Grant Green with the warm voicings of Kenny Burrell, and he has the nous to leave space for the rhythm section to breathe.”
— Mike Hobart, Jazzwise

“Like the title, a guiding star, any one of these three masters could be the leader, yet all put egos aside and just play these tunes exquisitely without any histrionics, nary a wasted note. It’s as clean as clean gets.”
— Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine


Guitarist Greg Skaff enlists jazz royalty Ron Carter and Albert “Tootie” Heath for his first ever guitar/bass/drums trio album, POLARIS, reuniting the legendary bassist and drummer for the first time in decades for a joyously swinging session.

Fans of Greg Skaff may know him as one of modern jazz’s premier organ jazz guitarists through his own trios with hard-grooving greats like Mike LeDonne and Pat Bianchi; or as a veteran first-call sideman, from his early years with soul-jazz titan Stanley Turrentine through decades of work with the likes of Ruth Brown, Bobby Watson, Freddie Hubbard, Orrin Evans, Matt Wilson, Ralph Peterson and countless others.

Despite that impressive resumé, Skaff marks a career first with POLARIS: a trio album with a standard guitar, bass and drums line-up. There’s nothing standard about the rhythm section he enlisted for the occasion, however: he’s joined by a pair of jazz icons, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. The album features three jazz masters delighting in each other’s creativity and ebullient sense of swing.

“When a guitar player works with an organist in a trio,” Skaff says, “the organist is driving the bus. He’s playing the bass, a lot of the harmony and sometimes even the melody. So you’re essentially playing their game. In a guitar/bass/drums trio, the guitarist has considerably more responsibility – as well as freedom. Experimenting with that format in the last few years of gigging, I learned to embrace both the freedom and the responsibility. I felt that Ron and Tootie would be simpatico with that because of how sharply they listen and their ability to move the music in different directions.”

POLARIS, the North Star, is actually a triple star system, making the title doubly apt as both an acknowledgment of the two elders’ role as guiding lights as well as the album’s trio format although Skaff is quick to humbly shrug off any designation of himself as a third “star” in this situation.) But like its namesake, POLARIS is an illuminating interplay of three brilliant artists.

released March 19, 2021

Greg Skaff – guitar
Ron Carter – bass
Albert “Tootie” Heath – drums

Recorded August 12, 2019 and March 16, 2020
at Sear Sound, NYC by Chris Allen;
Mixed and Mastered by JJ McGeehan at Joan of Arc Park Studio.
Front and back cover photos by Yasmine Skaff.
Other photography by Yasmine Skaff and John Hasselback III.
Art direction and Package Design by Jamie Breiwick, B Side Graphics.
Produced by Greg Skaff.
Executive Producer: Paul Stache.
Associate Producer: Damon Smith.

Publishers: Chappell-Co Inc-Glocca Morra Music Corp/ASCAP #1;
Sony ATV Harmony/ASCAP # 2; Retrac Productions Inc/BMI # 3, 9 & 10;
EMI Unart Catalog Inc-Second Floor Music/BMI # 4;
Universal Polygram Int’l Publishing Inc/ASCAP # 5;
Skafftone Music/SESAC # 6 & 8;
The Duke Ellington Heritage LLC/ ASCAP #7;
S A Music Co-Ted Koehler Music Co/ASCAP # 11.

Weight 0.33 lbs