Ernest McCarty Jr. takes listeners on a nostalgic journey


In the words of Jazz musician Ernest McCarty Jr., “We need more expressions of love and we need to remember to love.”
That’s why he composed and produced his latest CD, “I remember Love.”
The 10-song disc, which he released Aug. 6, features jazz songs with catchy, finger-popping music and breezy, Latin-inspired rhythms laced with words about the ups and downs of love.
“I try to write about real situations. The music was written during the social consciousness in the ‘60s and ‘70s because the music back then was about something, it was written by real writers and it was real music. That’s the time I came up in. With this CD I wanted to express how our lives are so complicated and have people think about what’s going on in their lives. These songs are dealing with real issues. You’ve got to take a chance, you’ve got to roll the dice.”
McCarty was born into a world of music. He was first introduced to the discipline from the gospel singers his mother conducted to the jazz greats that frequented his hometown of Chicago in the ‘40s and ‘50s. McCarty is a classically-trained bassist.
The Pittsburgh-based musician has performed with jazz pianist Erroll Garner, Eddie Harris, Oscar Brown and traveled extensively as the musical director for Gloria Gaynor and Odetta and Noel Harrison.
For “I Remember Love,” McCarty not only produced it, he performed the acoustic piano, acoustic guitar and keyboards. Other musicians included Thomas Wendt on drums; Rich Strong on drums and percussion; Paul Thompson on Bass; Paul Cosentino on alto sax, tenor sax and clarinet; Tony Campbell on alto and soprano sax; and Chuck Austin on trumpet and flugelhorn.
McCarty teamed with his friend, vocalist and former Emotions member Theresa “Tee” Davis to make everything pop and come together.
The pair met in the mid-‘70s when McCarty was in search of a singer for his Chicago show, “Love Spirit,” which ran for 15 years. Years later they collaborated on the CD, “Someone You Want to Love.”
“Theresa is my Dionne Warwick,” McCarty said. “I can give her anything and she can sing it. She interprets my music and lyrics beautifully. It was a wonderful experience to come back into the studio and recreate the songs.”
Davis was delighted to be a part of another one of McCarty’s projects.
“Ernest is a playwright and a lot of the songs that we’ve recorded are from his plays,” Davis said. “He is prolific. He is a wonderful, wonderful writer, arranger and producer. He is a jewel and I consider him a genius. He’s a pleasure to work with because he’s so gifted. I just love his songs and we work so well together. I feel flattered and honored that he chose me because he has worked with so many talented singers.”
“I Remember Love” begins on a high note with “Good Old Time,” then Davis seductively asks the listener to “Dance With Me” and continues with one of McCarty’s favorites, “Love Won’t Make Me Cry.” Other gems on the record include the Patricia Kearney-penned title track, “I Remember Love,” and Davis’ favorites, ”Back in the Day” and “Winter’s Here.”
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