Wayne Escoffery – The Humble Warrior CD


1. Chain Gang
2. Kyrie
3. Sanctus
4. Benedictus
5. Sanctus (Reprise)
6. The Humble Warrior
7. Quarter Moon
8. Undefined
9. AKA Reggie
10. Back to Square One

$ 10.00

In stock

SKU: SSR-2002-CD Category:

8-panel Digipak Album

“THE HUMBLE WARRIOR finds Wayne Escoffery coming full circle, returning to where his musical life began. His Smoke Sessions label debut also marks a new beginning of sorts with a quartet as solid and improvisational as any.”
— Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine

“The Benjamin Britten is ‘jazzing the classics’ of a high order, but my favourite tracks are the originals that follow, excellent vehicles for the group’s effortless mastery of improvisation.”
— Andy Hamilton, Jazz Journal

“Acoustic small group jazz played at as high a level as anyone since Joe Henderson…worthy of serious attention.”
— Phil Freeman, The New York City Jazz Record

#1 JazzWeek radio chart (2 weeks)


Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is renowned for his fiery, muscular, and virtuosic tenor playing, but his explosive sound is paired with a soft-spoken and thoughtful demeanor off the bandstand. In many cases, both of those aspects of his personality can be credited to the same inspirations, giants of the music who paired estimable talents and imagination with rock-solid integrity.

On his album, THE HUMBLE WARRIOR, Escoffery pays homage to those figures with his most ambitious and wide-ranging set to date. While Escoffery himself strives to represent the tenets of a Humble Warrior, it would be easy for him to act otherwise, given his stand-out career and ample accolades. A Grammy Award and DownBeat Critics Poll winner, he has performed with a who’s who of jazz, including Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Abdullah Ibrahim, Al Foster, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Wallace Roney, and others. He has been a member of the Mingus Dynasty, Big Band and Orchestra since 2000 and toured and recorded with Tom Harrell for over a decade. In addition to his Quartet, Escoffery co-leads the Black Art Jazz Collective along with other leading voices of his generation and the next.

THE HUMBLE WARRIOR marks Escoffery’s leader debut for Smoke Sessions Records, where he’s previously recorded with the trombonist Steve Davis. The album features the return of Escoffery’s stellar quartet featuring pianist David Kikoski, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Ralph Peterson. Trumpet great Randy Brecker and guitarist David Gilmore supplement the band for Escoffery’s breathtaking arrangement of several parts of Benjamin Britten’s Missa Brevis in D.

“We lost a lot of really great musicians in 2018 and 2019,” he says. “People like Roy Hargrove, Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, Richard Wyands, Lawrence Leathers, and, most recently, Jimmy Heath. I would describe all of those musicians as “Humble Warriors.” I have a lot of admiration and respect for them; they were all great warriors of the Music but always allowed the music to keep them humble. They all exemplified the utmost humility and integrity despite their superior abilities. I hope to maintain those same traits in my musical endeavors.”

released April 10, 2020

Wayne Escoffery – tenor & soprano saxophones
David Kikoski – piano
Ugonna Okegwo – bass
Ralph Peterson Jr. – drums

Randy Brecker – trumpet (tracks 3, 4, 5 & 6)
David Gilmore – guitar (tracks 3, 4 & 5)
Vaughn Escoffery – vocals (track 5)

Recorded Live November 18, 2019, at Sear Sound Studio C, NYC

Produced by Paul Stache & Damon Smith
Recording, Mixing & Mastering Engineer: Chris Allen
Studio Assistant: Justin Berger
Vocal Engineer: Alonzo Wright
Liner Notes: Nate Chinen
Photography: Jimmy and Dena Katz
Performance Photo: Jutta Deichmann
Design: Damon Smith and Paul Stache

Wayne Escoffery is a D’Addario Artist & endorses AMT Microphones
David Kikoski appears courtesy of HighNote Records

Weight 0.33 lbs