The Sugar Hill Trio

NYC Jazz Trio

Brilliant hard bop-centered jazz
-Scott Albin
These musicians fit well together, like a familiar key sliding into a front door lock. Their music feels comfortable, like home.
- Dee Dee McNeil
Smoky stuff that just drips hipster---in a good way.
- Chris Spector
This trio has talent and ability and has produced an album remarkably rich in tonal and rhythmic variety.
- Roger Farbey
Torkewitz is excellent on both tenor (where he has a definite Rollins attack though he rarely visits the lower registers) and flute which is clear, full and driving.
-Cadence Jazz Magazine
Walker’s drumming pushes nicely with a Blakey-like insistence
-Cadence Jazz Magazine
Songs like Coltranes’ “Spiral” takes flight in creative ways, embracing the Afro-Cuban rhythm culture, mixed with a straight-ahead feel on saxophone and with Boykins always holding things firmly in place on double bass.
- Dee Dee McNeil
...with Shamat walking the line in most complementary fashion (and also providing a meditative evaluation), while Walker injects enhancing rumbles and splashes.
- Scott Albin
"Handles," the final number composed by the tenorist, begins with a confident head and includes an excellent pizzicato bass solo form Dylan Shamat.
- Roger Farbey
Leon Boykins pulls the strings of his double bass at a maddening pace and keeps the tension beneath the saxophone during Torkewitz’s several-bar solo. When it’s Boykin’s turn to become the soloist, the bass man doesn’t disappoint.
-Dee Dee McNeil
The pianoless trio setting, Torkewitz’s sound at times, and his explorative spirit make one think of prime Sonny Rollins throughout parts of The Drive.
-Scott Yanow
A similarly fast pace is maintained on Coltrane's "Spiral" and here Leon Boykins on bass is particularly outstanding.
- Roger Farbey
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The Sugar Hill Trio

NYC Jazz Trio

The trio’s take on “Like Someone in Love” brings to mind once more Mr. Rollins of the ’50’s, with tenor and drum improvs to die for.

Scott Albin

There are four elements that combine in such a way so as to make The Drive […] commendable and these are the musicians who perform on it […]

A fifth element makes it especially enjoyable to my ears and that is the music itself.

Steven Cerra (Jazz Profiles)

The Sugar Hill Trio consists of Christian Torkewitz on tenor and flute, Austin Walker on drums and either Leon Boykins or Dylan Shamat on bass. Torkewitz has an affinity to the tone of John Coltrane, and uses it well with the looping bass on the driving “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes” and driving ”Spiral.” The rhythm team is peppy on the original “Handles” and laconic on “Ask Me Now.” Torkewi[t]z’s flute is moody on his own “Sunbeams” and nimble with the snappy drums on “The Drive” while the whole team bops well on “Minority.” Lots of energy emitted here.

George W. Harris (Jazz Weekly)

The close musical communication between the musicians, Walker’s occasional drum breaks, and the bass interludes all work well.

– Scott Yanow (L.A. Jazz Scene) 

Sugar Hill Trio jazz trio NYC New York City Tenor sax saxophone flute piano drums acoustic bass

The Drive

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Sugar Hill Trio jazz trio NYC New York City Tenor sax saxophone flute piano drums acoustic bass

The Drive

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Sugar Hill Trio jazz trio NYC New York City Tenor sax saxophone flute piano drums acoustic bass

The Drive

Amazon Music

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We Will Be BACK Soon!

There are four elements that combine in such a way so as to make The Drive […] commendable and these are the musicians who perform on it […] A fifth element makes it especially enjoyable to my ears and that is the music itself. This is because, unlike many of the self-produced CD that manage to find their way to the editorial office of JazzProfiles which are made up of exclusively new music, that is to say, original compositions, The Drive actually emphasizes seven Jazz Standards and tunes from the Great American Songbook among the eleven tracks on the recording. For former Jazz musicians and enduring Jazz fans like me who have a knowledge of the idiom dating back over half a century, it’s wonderful to hear new players bring the tradition forward by superimposing their improvisations over familiar melodies. Of course, it is costlier to produce a CD in this manner because there is the question of royalties that must be paid to gain licenses to perform copyrighted music. But like Jung’s “collective unconscious,” Jazz is an evolving extension of what went before it so how does one discern these associations if there are no references to the Jazz tradition by musicians on the current Jazz scene? On The Drive Chris, Austin, Leon and Dylan test their mettle as improvisors by offering well-played and interesting improvisations on Jazz classics that include Minority by Gigi Gryce and Ask Me Now by Monk and on Harry Warren’s You’re My Everything and Jimmy van Heusen’s Like Someone in Love. And they do it without a net, so to speak, as this is a pianoless trio that relies very heavily on the bassists Boykins and Shamat to provide harmony for Chris much the same way that Gerry Mulligan’s pianoless quartet relied on bassist Bill Crow to provide the harmony for Jeru and Chet Baker. As a point in passing with reference to the Jazz Tradition, I’m guessing that the group’s derives its name from the “Sugar Hill” section in New York City that’s bound on the north by West 155th Street, on the south by West 145th Street, on the east by Edgecome Avenue and on the west by Amsterdam Avenue and that once was the home of Jazz luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Thelonious Monk, among many other Stars of Jazz. It would seem then that The Sugar Hill Trio is in good company. – Steven Cerra (Jazz Profiles)

The Sugar Hill Trio

NYC Jazz Trio

info@sugarhilltrio.com