jim cavenderHome: Huntsville, AL

Born: May 11, 1962

Jim Cavender spends a fair amount of time recording, whenever he has time off from gigs. In 2012, he produced The Crawling Chaos by Rolling Jazz Revue. He released three non-jazz singles by pleasPlease, “Blues Schnitzel”, a cover of James Brown's “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine)” and a cover of “Timothy” written by Rupert Holmes in March of 2013.

In 2011, he finished one collaborative Americana CD, A Cellarfull Of Noise , with Skip Heller. He released a blues/r&b recording, The Snake Doctors (Deluxe Version), featuring the soulful singing and songwriting of Charlie Howell on 13 tracks originally released on CD in 1997, along with three, previously unreleased, live tracks recorded in 2008. He recorded and engineered four songs for an LP by Robert Daniel and Jana Savanapridi, as well as a Thunderfakers (Savanapridi along with Matt Bakula) song for a compilation, The Long Hundred, on Cosmodemonic Telegraph Records in Connecticut.

In 2010, Cavender produced To A Planet by Rolling Jazz Revue and one blues/rock live CD, Bookaroo. To A Planet features all original tunes. Bookaroo is a live collaboration between Cavender, Ivy Joe Milan and the Snowballs, Criss Ashwell and other mainstays of the Huntsville, Alabama, music scene. Both the live concert and the CD were fundraising projects for Huntsville Public Library, where the CD is currently available.

In 2008, Jim produced three jazz CDs, Elephants In The Crosswalk and Halloween On Union Avenue by Rolling Jazz Revue and O Christmas Tree-O by the Keith Taylor Trio. The two RJR CDs feature tunes written by the group's members, Jim Cavender, Newt Johnson, Ben Cohen and Brian Palmieri, but they couldn't resist covering Ornette Coleman's “Ramblin'” on their debut CD, Halloween On Union Avenue. Ken Watters co-wrote “Flying Carpet” with Cavender on the same CD.

Jim has eaten plenty of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches throughout the country with bands The Jungle, Then Again and The Snake Doctors. He didn't pass out while performing with Percy Sledge, Bo Diddley and Chocolate Armenteros, three people he admires. He has also performed in Cuba with pianist Roberto Carcasses and trumpeter Julio Padron, in Colombia and in Sweden with bassist Anders Eriksson and trumpeter Toti from Circus Maximus. Jim studied music at East Texas State University, and in his home state of Alabama he was lucky enough to get lessons with the late r&b session guitarists Tippy Armstrong and Eddie “Spanky” Alford.

Cavender has produced or co-produced albums in various genres since 1986 including The Jungle by The Jungle (jazz), It Creeps Up On You by Swine Cadillac (blues), Move To The City by Then Again (rock), Brothers by Ken and Harry Watters (jazz), The Snake Doctors by The Snake Doctors (rhythm and blues), Black Boots And A Suitcase by Joshua Black Wilkins (rockabilly) and Along The Anchorline by Skip Heller Trio (jazz). Currently Jim is working on an r&b/funk CD featuring Ivy Joe Milan on vocals and percussion, and he has a CD in the works with his jazz/funk/rock organ combo Trio El Camino.

In addition to playing instruments and/or singing backup vocals on the above-listed albums, Jim Cavender played upright bass and guitar on Don Bowyer's Itchin' In The Kitchen (big band jazz) and co-wrote “Fall Festival” with Ken Watters on Brothers III by Ken and Harry Watters (jazz). Jim also contributed original songs for some of the albums he has produced over the years.

Jim plays solo and in various bands in the Huntsville, Alabama, area including Rolling Jazz Revue (jazz), Keith Taylor Trio (jazz), Trio El Camino (jazz-rock organ combo), The Lost Troubadours From The Ford Galaxie (honky-tonk country), Mambo Gris Gris (Latin/Carribean), The Snake Doctors (rhythm and blues), The Blu Lite Band (rhythm and blues) and pleasPlease (campy fun). He also teaches in the music department at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He worked at Berklee Summer Guitar Sessions 2009 and taught at the WC Handy Music Camp in 2010-2012.

Press Quotes

Derrick Bang of The Davis (California) Enterprise writes:

“The Keith Taylor Trio’s O Christmas Tree-O (Startlingly Fresh Records) is a seasonal joy from start to finish: a delectable example of the sort of trio piano jazz I could listen to forever. Taylor is joined on piano by Jim Cavender (bass) and Tom Branch (drums), and tenor saxman Greg Chambers sits in for a few tracks.

“The lengthy tracks allow plenty of improv work.... Taylor demonstrates his inventive keyboard work with the album-opening ‘The Second First Noel,’ which also benefits from the first of Cavender’s many slick bass solos. Taylor and Cavender trade licks on several tracks; I’m particularly impressed by their work on the mid-tempo handling of ‘Once in Royal David’s City.’ ‘O Christmas Tree’ is an up-tempo finger-snapper, with a truly cookin’ bass solo from Cavender. An equally lively rendition of ‘We Three Kings’ proves that these heads of state really know how to groove on a track that boasts numerous tempo changes.

“But as much as I enjoy this trio’s faster selections, the slower pieces truly shine. ‘Silent Night’ and ‘I Wonder As I Wander’ are soft and mysterious: both lovely readings of these gentle carols. Chambers’ sax work highlights an unexpectedly slow and sentimental reading of ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ a song usually given a lively up-tempo reading that emerges here as a lament (Which I guess makes sense; Frosty did melt, after all!).

“The album closes with another quiet one: ‘Some Children See Him,’ introduced with Taylor’s gentle keyboard work, which guides this lovely standard -- and the entire album -- to a perfect conclusion. Great job, guys.”

-- The Davis Enterprise, December 10, 2009

Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award (Best Blues-Pop-Rock Performance, College Division, for Ken Watters' Jungle), 1985

Source: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/musician.php?id=17713

Photo sources: CD Baby and MySpace

MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/jimcavender#!

More info:

UA Huntsville bio: http://www.uah.edu/la/departments/music/faculty-staff/directories/all/273-main/liberal-arts/music/music-faculty-bios/1792-jim-cavendar

Video: Dick Cooper Party Spring 2013 Jim Cavender on Tele 1080p http://youtu.be/USLn-mOBxkE

Video: Rocket City Rock and Soul: Tighten Up at Bandito Southside http://youtu.be/zubtbqyB6Is


Amazon: Jim Cavender And Skip Heller and Keith Taylor Trio and Pleasplease and Rolling Jazz Revue and The Snake Doctors (Deluxe Version)

iTunes: Jim Cavender & Skip Heller and The Snake Doctors and Pleasplease and Rolling Jazz Revue and Keith Taylor Trio

CD Baby: All Jim Cavender music

Jim Cavender & Skip Heller: A Cellarfull of Noise
Keith Taylor Trio: O Christmas Tree-O
Pleasplease: Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)
Pleasplease: Blues Schnitzel
Pleasplease: Timothy
Rolling Jazz Revue: The Crawling Chaos
Rolling Jazz Revue: Elephants In The Crosswalk
Rolling Jazz Revue: To A Planet
Rolling Jazz Revue: Halloween On Union Avenue
The Snake Doctors: The Snake Doctors (Deluxe Version)

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