Home Archive Truth Revolution Recording Collective presents: The Mike Boone Quartet, Beneath the Surface

Truth Revolution Recording Collective presents: The Mike Boone Quartet, Beneath the Surface



“Respected in Philadelphia for his commitment to the jazz scene there, as well as for his dedication to assisting younger musicians, Boone’s years of professional experience has allowed him to immerse himself in the music to the extent that he becomes the instrument to the music’s message.”

As the title suggests, there is more to Beneath the Surface than meets the eye.

For example, Mike recorded the gig in secret unbeknownst to his bandmates. After hearing the outcome he thought, it “felt good.” Also, with some “surgery” it would make an excellent CD.

Beneath the Surface captures the Mike Boone Quartet live at Chris’s Jazz Cafe where local followers listen to the music and cheer the group on at one of the last venue that focuses on jazz.

The repertoire includes covers including John Coltrane’s “Central Park West,” played in 6/8 rhythms with two alternating keys; Freddie Hubbard’s blues-tinged “Byrdlike” and Sid Simmons’ uplifting “Keep the Faith” and Boone’s straight-ahead “B-n-R.”

And original compositions such as the title track, which is built on the chord changes to Joe Henderson’s “Inner Urge;” the lively “Up Jumped Bootsie” and the harrowing, “Angst.” Other tracks include “Firm Roots (insert Pt. 1 and 2).

The band consists of John Swana on valve trombone and EVI; Tim Brey on the piano; drummer Anwar Marshall. Also, drummer Mekhi Boone (Mike’s son) appears on three tracks.

“I’ve known John since my early years in Philly,” says Mike. “He’s my horn player of choice forever. I met Tim and Anwar while they were students at Temple and University of the Arts, respectively. They are the top young guys on their instruments in Philly. We’ve been together for about four years, playing wherever and whenever we can.”

Additionally, Mike started out as a classical pianist and switched to the bass in high school. He graduated from Eastman, where he began playing jazz. Also, he was a member of the Buddy Rich Big Band (1982, ’85, ’86). He moved to Philly in 1984, where he learned about jazz from the “old heads.” Also, he was a member of the house band at Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus for almost fifteen years.

He has worked with Joey Defrancesco, Ben Vereen, Buddy Rich, Leslie Uggams, James Moody, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Donald Byrd, Dakota Staton, Al Grey, Shirley Scott, Uri Caine, Orrin Evans and Joe De Francesco. Also, he has mentored countless young jazz players on the Philly music scene.

He taught at the Kimmel Center Summer Program and served as the Professor of Jazz Bass at Temple University.

“Even though the CD has my name on the cover,” says Mike, “it’s a group effort. John, Tim, Anwar, and Mekhi have taken the music and made it their own. It’s different each time, and better.”

For Mike Boone, Beneath the Surface is much more than just a jazz recording. “It could apply to life itself … it’s more about substance as opposed to appearance.” Something to consider as you listen and enjoy the best that Philly has to offer.

Tracks: Up Jumped Bootsie; Beneath the Surface: Central Park West; Firm Roots insert pt. 1; Angst; Firm Roots insert pt. 2; Punjab; Byrdlike; B-n-R; Keep the Faith.

Personnel: Mike Boone: Basses; John Swana – Valve Trombone; Tim Brey – Piano; Anwar Marshall – Drums; Mekhi Boone – Drums.

Purchase Beneath the Surface: https://mikeboone.bandcamp.com/releases

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here