Saxophonist Reggie Codrington Releases New Single “3 Shades of Blue” | LISTEN!

A “Blue” tribute: Urban-Jazz saxophonist Reggie Codrington remembers his late father with “Three Shades of Blue,” the first single from the forthcoming “The Ray Codrington Signature Collection.”

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (18 APRIL 2024): There would be no music career for soprano saxophonist Reggie Codrington had it not been for his father, trumpeter Ray Codrington. Born with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy that required nine major surgeries even before the saxman was a teenager, Ray found a small, curved saxophone that made it physically possible for Reggie to play the instrument. After Ray succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease last May, Reggie decided to pay tribute by recording one of his father’s favorite compositions, “Three Shades of Blue,” a song that Ray wrote and performed in his live sets, but never recorded. The urban-jazz single produced by Phil Davis (Boney James, Alex Bugnon, Al Jarreau) is now collecting radio airplay and Spotify spins.

Ray Codrington was a professional musician who played with Little Richard, Gladys Knight and Jackie Wilson. His son was ten years-old when the trumpeter composed “Three Shades of Blue.” Reggie remembers seeing his father perform the song with the North Carolina Symphony. A prolific composer, recording “Three Shades of Blue” was one of Ray’s long-held desires, which was unfinished business upon his passing. He left a wealth of original music that he never got around to recording. Reggie has made recording music from his father’s songbook a personal mission, honoring his father’s legacy by creating “The Ray Codrington Signature Series.” “Three Shades of Blue” is the first single from the forthcoming collection.

“Seeing the joy on my father’s face when he performed this song provoked the desire for me to record it. My father penned a lot of music, but ‘Three Shades of Blue’ was significant because it was a schematic of his life. After his earthly transition, this song became a signature selection in my heart. He told me that this song explained the various transitions his life encountered. I was able to embody this song by looking at my life and determining from birth to now, that my life has been the epitome of ‘Three Shades of Blue,’” said Reggie Codrington, who is based in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Davis crafted the ethereal groove by playing all the instruments surrounding Reggie’s poignant melodic soprano sax phrases and heartfelt solo, the latter to which the producer responds by issuing an elegant piano solo.

After studying music at Howard University, Reggie Codrington debuted in 1990 with “Never Let You Go,” the first of eleven albums released to date. Throughout the years, Ray maintained a regular presence at Reggie’s recording sessions, including during the tracking of last year’s “Light,” Reggie’s single that peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard chart. Although Ray wasn’t physically present during the “Three Shades of Blue” recording date, Reggie felt his father’s presence.

“Feeling Dad’s presence in the studio caused me to reflect on when he would be beside me while recording. Recording my part was melodic, smooth, and colorful. As I experienced the presence of my father in the studio booth with me, my solo became a symphonic conversation between my father and me. I could hear him playing his horn licks and making his musical suggestions. After one of my recording takes, my studio engineer, Andy Pow, allowed me to hear the playback. Previously, my father would be the one writing out notes for me to play and providing creative ideas for me to try, in hopes of creating a musical experience for the listener. I took that exchange with Andy and reworked a portion of my solo realizing that my father was still giving me his insight through others in the studio,” shared Reggie, who has performed for President Barack Obama, recorded with Jeff Lorber, Paul Jackson Jr. and Nils; and opened for Ramsey Lewis, Charlie Wilson, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Peabo Bryson, Kenny Lattimore, Kim Waters and Kevin Toney.

There’s a lot of Ray’s music for Reggie to sift through as he curates and records “The Ray Codrington Signature Series” over the next year or two. Reggie Codrington is excited about preserving his father’s works while introducing his father’s music to new audiences, beginning with “Three Shades of Blue.

“Funny to note, I never knew how much blue was in my closet until I recorded this song,” Reggie said ebulliently.

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