“River” is the debut Album of the Robert Russell Trio. Their original mix of jazz, electric, and folk music is one of a kind. It was professionally recorded, mixed, and mastered in Bangladesh, India, and the USA, in collaboration with incredible musicians from all over the world to create an unforgettable experience.
Rivers are the life source of the Bangladeshi people and Bangladesh is a riverine country that lies within the Ganges Delta system - the biggest river delta in the world. According to historical records, Bangladesh has relied on 700 flowing rivers for trade, irrigation, fish farming, and environmental sustenance.
Sadly today there are approximately only 300 rivers that flow through Bangladesh during the monsoon season with 17 rivers on the verge of extinction. 54 rivers flow directly from India and 3 flow from Myanmar.
The impact of global warming and environmental change is having an adverse effect on the lives of millions of people who rely on rivers every day for survival.
This album is a musical celebration of the mighty 24,140 kilometers of rivers and tributaries that flow through this beautiful country.
Robert Russell is a composer, performer, theatre practitioner, playwright, and educator. He is a theatre teacher at the American International School of Dhaka and has performed in countless musical and theatrical settings. He has also worked as a recording artist for Grammy Records in Thailand, Associate professor in Jazz Studies for CQCM Australia, Head of Contemporary Music of the International Academy of Music Thailand, and an ensemble artist for the International Schools Theatre Association. He is a prolific composer and an enthusiast of improvisation.
Towfiq Arifin is a pioneer of jazz drumming in Bangladesh. He has played with legends of Bangla music such as Miles and Black, as well as international superstars like Mariano Abello of the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, international flamenco guitarist Melón Jiménez and guitar guru Seth Panduranga Blumberg (Pandu). Towfiq is also a renowned jazz educator, conducting lessons and masterclasses to foster a new generation of jazz drummers in Bangladesh.
Tanveer Haque has played bass for numerous bands and supported many artists as well. Most notably he has played in the bands Mitchell Lips, PYKE, and Rogozo, as well as supporting artists such as Lyndsey Jones, Kat Kennedy, and Imran Ahmed. Tanveer is is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music and Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, and he has recorded and played shows in the USA, India, and Bangladesh.
Dr. David Spencer has made appearances in Carnegie Hall as both a classical and jazz artist. He has served as principal trumpet with numerous orchestras worldwide and supported the sections of countless others. He is a founding member and principal trumpet of The Memphis Brass Quintet and tours frequently as soloist and guest artist throughout the world, most recently premiering the Rhapsody in Blue for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Jiangsu Philharmonic in China. He has also performed with jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker, James Moody, and Marvin Stamm among others.
Nazrul Islam is a dhol player with an incredible time and groove. He is a pivotal member of Shikor Bangladesh Allstars, known for his work with Baby Akhtar, Lokkhi Terra, Arnob, and Khorshed Alam. He has toured in Europe and Africa, drawing an international audience to Bangladeshi folk music. Unlike most folk musicians of Bangladesh, Nazrul does not shy away from playing with international jazz, reggae, and pop musicians, becoming an icon of folk fusion. He has played countless festivals, including the prominent Womad and Songlines Encounters Festival in 2015.
Navneeth Narasimhan is an amazing multi-instrumentalist, trained in the schools of Indian classical and jazz styles. He is an alumnus of Berklee College of music and Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, and a prominent name in film music. Performing with his guitar, keyboard, and voice, he has worked professionally in the music industry in Chennai, Boston, and Los Angeles with artists like Hector Pereira and Lucas Vidal. He has performed in a number of styles from pop, musical theatre, and orchestral performances.
Kailey Zercher is known for her work with her alt-rock bands, the Womps and Rogozo. She is an Alumni of Berklee College of Music who has performed and recorded in a multitude of genres, such as jam bands, jazz, rock, funk, blues, Middle Eastern, and Latin, and orchestral and quartet ensembles. She has performed many concerts at Boston Symphony Hall with the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, the Berklee Performance Center, and Kresge Auditorium with artists including Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Chris Turner, and Jacob Collier.
Front Cover: Robert Russell Trio River
Back Cover: 1. Jazzmin 2. It’s a Morning Thing 3. The Calling 4. Da Grin 5. The Waltz Alone 6. Pianola 7. Thoughts in Transit 8. Dance Penguin 9. The Professor
The Trio: Robert Russell Towfiq Arifin Tanveer Haque