Clearly, guitarist Eric Essix is not satisfied with preserving the status quo when it comes to his music. Now, with a total of 24 albums spanning a 30 year career as a contemporary jazz recording artist, his primary goal is to dismantle past ideas and reinvent them. He has performed or recorded with Ronnie Laws, Peabo Bryson, Kirk Whalum, Ruben Studdard, Eric Darius, Jeff Lorber, Bob Baldwin, Phil Perry and many more! His latest project, Eric Essix MOVE Trio — made up of fellow native Alabamians– is a decidedly minimalist approach to both the music’s sound and look.
While solidly based in contemporary jazz, Eric Essix MOVE Trio crosses many genres and appeals to a wide variety of people as evidenced by the shows they’ve opened and venues played in the last two years. “We’ve played everything from house concerts, clubs and small to medium halls,” Eric says. “God has blessed us to share the stage with a lot of jazz artists as well as multiple shows opening for Gladys Knight and my hero, B.B. King!” Eric Essix MOVE Trio toured extensively in 2016 in both the U.S. and Europe. “At first, I think people who have never seen us before are curious when they see just three guys walk out onstage dressed in suits and ties, Eric laughs. “But it doesn’t take long for them to feel at ease when they hear some ‘southern fried’ funk or a familiar R&B favorite. Then everybody just relaxes and has a good time!”
MOVE’s “heartbeat” is drummer, James “PJ” Spraggins. PJ is a composer, producer and bandleader in his own right with a total of three releases as a solo artist with his latest entitled Time To Heal. He has performed and/or recorded with Ronnie Laws, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, Martha Reeves, Randy Owen, Kirk Whalum, Marcus Miller, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Alex Bugnon and Frank McComb.
Grammy nominated producer and multi-instrumentalist, Kelvin Wooten is the group’s “soul”. He plays electric bass guitar and keyboards with MOVE. His ability to play complex multiple parts on the keyboards – in real time –excites audiences everywhere the group performs. Wooten’s extraordinary work in the studio as a songwriter and producer has led to his own debut release “Window” and Grammy nominations for albums with Anthony Hamilton and Mary J. Blige. He has worked in the studio or performed live with Jill Scott, Lalah Hathaway, Raphael Saadiq, Floetry, Chrisette Michele, Goapele, Kelly Price, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, TLC, Chante Moore, Earth Wind And Fire, Tony!Toni!Tone!, Bee Gees, Angie Stone, Warren G, The Isley Brothers, Ginuwine, Eric Benet, Joe and many more.