Western Skies – Michael Hackett/Tim Coffman Sextet featuring Sharel Cassity

Western Skies – Michael Hackett/Tim Coffman Sextet featuring Sharel Cassity

Label: Summit Records

Release date: June '22

Catalog number: 796


Blues for MH
comp: Tim Coffman
Twenty Four
comp: Will Campbell
Little Dancer
comp: Tom Harrell
comp: Michael Hackett
Esox Fables
comp: Michael Hackett
Western Skies
comp: Michael Hackett
You Taught My Heart To Sing
comp: McCoy Tyner
We The People
comp: Michael Hackett

From a salsa tribute of a McCoy Tyner tune, through a three-horn arrangement of a Tom Harrell tune, through solid originals, this sextet+ shines!

Hackett has composed and arranged some fantastic music here…

Michael Hackett – trumpet and flugelhorn
Tim Coffman – trombone
Sharel Cassity – alto saxophone
Jeremy Kahn – piano
Christian Dillingham – bass
Bob Rummage – drums
Arno Gonzalez – Timbale, guiro
Tony Castañeda – congas

The concept of the record is a tribute to Hackett’s father, who grew up in Western Montana.  There is also a tribute of sorts, by Will Campbell, which was written to commemorate the passing of a mutual student, Casey Blackwelder. Casey graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the spring of 2017, and passed away suddenly on his 24th birthday, Father’s Day, June 18, 2017.

The band is a sextet (with Timbale, guiro and congos) with Tim Coffman (Chicago Jazz Orchestra/DePaul University) on trombone, Sharel Cassity (Roy Hargrove/Juilliard grad) on alto, Jeremy Kahn on piano, Christian Dillingham (jazz bass proff at IU), and Bob Rummage on drums. The majority of the recording is original music with some three horn arrangements of the Tom Harrell Tune, “Little Dancer” and the McCoy Tyner tune “You Taught My Heart to Sing.”

Coffman and Hackett have known each other for for nearly 40 years and played in David Bakers top jazz ensemble at Indiana University during the 1980s.

Dr. Michael Hackett has performed extensively with touring entertainers and pops orchestras across the country backing up artists such as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, and Perry Como. His playing has been featured in many national television and radio commercials, the movie sound track to “The Aviator,” and many commercially available recordings, including those with Scott Whitfield’s Jazz Orchestra East on Summit.