In this unique recording, the soulful sounds of Indian tabla merge seamlessly with the uplifting melodies of the piano and the deep groove of bass and drum. From lyrical ballads to world groove to J.S. Bach, this unique collaboration traverses a diverse soundscape which touches the spirit of creativity. Sky features the music of composer/pianist Bill Douglas, together with the rich and heartfelt tabla playing of Ty Burhoe. They are joined by the brilliant bass playing of Kai Eckhardt and the genius of Steve Smith on drum set. Designed by Grammy Award winning designer, Christian Calabro, the book format packaging itself is a piece of art.
Bill Douglas is a bassoonist-pianist-composer who has toured and recorded for thirty years with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. As a bassoonist, he has played with the Toronto and New Haven Symphonies, and has recorded three RCA albums with Peter Serkin and Tashi. As a jazz pianist, Bill has toured and recorded with vibraphonist Gary Burton and bassist Eddie Gomez. In 1994, SOCAN, the Canadian equivalent of ASCAP and BMI, presented him with their classical composer of the year award. His compositions have been performed by major orchestras and chamber groups around the world. Bills' CDs can be heard across the world and appears not only in the record bins, but on radio, in television and in a wide range of thera-peutic nvironments. His music has become immensely popular in places like Spain, Japan, Canada and across much of the US. He has been teaching at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado for twenty-eight years. He has recorded twelve albums of his music on the Hearts of Space label.
Ty Burhoe has been a disciple of the great tabla maestro, Ustad Zakir Hussain, since 1990. Ty is known for his sensitive accompaniment and melodious style. While his intense study of the classical tradition and his touring as a classical accompanist continues to grow, he is also inter-nationally recognized for being instrumental in creating unusual collaborations that weave tabla with the traditions of Jazz, African, Flamenco, Rock, Celtic, Chinese, Bluegrass, and fusion. He has become well known not only for his talents as a tabla player, but also for his extensive experience as a recording and live concert producer. In 2004, he created the record label, Tala Records, and since 1994 has run a concert production company called Tala Productions. Ty works with a broad range of artists including Ustad Zakir Hussain, Art Lande, Krishna Das, Curandero (Miguel Espinoza), Ustad Sultan Khan, Bela Fleck, Kitaro, Rick Alan, Howard Levy, and many more. He is the tour assistant for his teacher Ustad Zakir Hussain, touring and helping produce concerts in North America and Canada. Ty also teaches drumming retreats and tabla intensives throughout the world and composes / plays on soundtracks for film and video, including the recent academy award winning documentary, "Born into Brothels".
Kai Eckhardt was born on June 15th 1961 in Mainz, Germany. Being the son of a German mother and a Liberian father, he was raised both in Germany and West Africa. He began to study bass at age 15 and went on to graduate from the Berklee College of Music in 1987. Today, Kai is considered to be one of the premiere electric bass players in the world. His brilliant solos and incredible sense of composition have earned him international attention. Kai's long list of collaborations includes the John Mclaughlin Trio with whom he recorded two albums including the acclaimed "Live at the Royal Festival Hall", many tours with Steve Smith's Vital Information, Zakir Hussain, George Brooks (Summit), Garage Mahal, Trilok Gurtu, Stanley Clark, Curandero, Art Lande and many more. In 1994 Kai went on to tour the US and Canada with Billy Cobham's International Quartet and in 1995 Kai recorded with Al Di Meola, Bill Evans and Omar Hakim which hit #1 on the Germany Jazz charts. He has recently released a quartet CD of his own. Kai also is a wonderful composer for film and television and leads intensives and clinics all over the world.
Steve Smith was originally drawn to the drums at age nine (1963) by hearing marching bands in parades as a child in his native Massachusetts. Steve's history in music is vast. With the rock band Journey, Smith toured around the world and recorded many successful albums including the immensely popular "Escape" (Columbia 1981) and "Frontiers" (Columbia 1983). Smith began leading his own fusion band, Vital Information in 1983. Other high profile jazz touring and/or recording gigs that have filled the drummer's schedule include such artists as Ahmad Jamal, Jeff Berlin, Michael Manring, Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker, Zakir Hussain and the Buddy Rich Big Band, with whom he has performed in many tribute concerts to the late drumming idol. In 2001 Modern Drummer Magazine named Steve as one of the Top 25 Drummers of All Time.