“Eulogy” – paying homage to the late Canadian political leader Jack Layton – was composed around the words of Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes (Grand Marshall of WorldPride Toronto, member of the Order of Canada for his social activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community). With Brent’s blessing, the track features spoken word samples from Layton’s state funeral, hugged by a four-part harmony blend from vocalist Jill Harris, and a sonic exploration lead by Ingrid Jensen – collectively offered as a heartfelt tribute to Jack.
As Jack wrote in his final letter to Canadians:
My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.
Born of funky grooves and stirring lyrics, Gray Matter is set to release their debut album, “Footsteps” on March 11, 2015. Co-lead by Toronto-born brothers Justin and Derek Gray, this fusion of jazz/R&B group pushes the envelope of genre-boundaries and introduces the next generation of Canadian music-makers. Gray Matter teams Grammy-award winning Ingrid Jensen on trumpet with 35-time internationally award-winning tenor saxophonist Eli Bennett, Juno-nominated pianist Todd Pentney, and vocalist Jill Harris (The O’Pears).
Justin Gray – Bass
Derek Gray – Drums/Composition
Ingrid Jensen – Trumpet
Jill Harris – Vocals
Todd Pentney – Hammond B3
Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes – Spoken Word
This album was produced by Justin and Derek Gray
Music mixed by Jeremy Darby of the Canterbury Music Company
Music mastered by David Travers-Smith of found.sound.toronto
Additional tracking and editing done by Justin Gray
This recording was made possible through the assistance of the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts, The Weston Family, & Loran Scholars Foundation.
Justin Gray plays Godfrey Guitars, Markbass Amps, La Bella Strings, Radial Engineering, Source Audio Pedals, and Lava Cables.
Derek Gray plays Yamaha Drums, Moperc Percussion, and Vater Sticks.
Ingrid Jensen plays Monette Trumpets and would like to thank Bob Smith for the use of the AEA R92 microphone.
Eli Bennett is an Addo Records recording artist and a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist.