KDM JAZZ GROUP
Delivering the intimacy of the best New York jam sessions the KDM Jazz Group gives audiences spontaneous creative experiences that evoke the emotions and passion of great jazz. The Group redefines jazz standards with a straight-ahead, swinging rhythm featuring jazz drum legend and Blue Note recording artist Donald “Duck” Bailey, New York honed pianist Dan Dillion and band leader Haruwn Wesley on upright string bass.
The KDM Jazz Group reflects the influences of New York’s post-bop legends Art Blakely, Billy Higgins, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Wayne Shorter, Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers, Louis Hayes, Roy Haynes, Doug Hammond, Joe Henderson, Cedar Walton and John Betsch among others.
Donald "Duck" Bailey (drums) Originally from Philadelphia, Bailey has helped define the pulse of jazz for more than five decades. His far-reaching and enduring influence, which dates back to his nine-year tenure with jazz legend Jimmy Smith from 1956-64, created a lithe trap set vocabulary that gave Smith plenty of room to lay down fat, pedal-generated bass lines while expertly driving the thrilling crescendos that made Smith such a dynamic performer. Bailey floats beneath Smith on the organist's classic Blue Note albums Back at the Chicken Shack, The Sermon! and Prayer Meetin'. And that's Bailey setting time behind pianists Hampton Hawes and Jimmy Rowles, as a member of the Three Sounds, and with Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All Stars. He has also performed and recorded with: Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Kenny Burrell, George Benson, Ester Phillips, and Monk Montgomery among others.
Guitarist Kenny Burrell, who played with Bailey on several Jimmy Smith albums in the late '50s and early '60s, calls the drummer "one of the real unsung heroes in the jazz world who has never gotten the credit he should have for his great musicianship." Burrell recalls having first encountered Bailey playing with Smith at a Pittsburgh club around 1956. "When he played a solo, it just knocked me out because I had never heard anything sound like that," the guitarist says. "It was a whole new sound coming from the drums, and he had his cymbal so high I couldn't see his face."
Bailey is also a master of jazz harmonica. Toots Thielemans gave him some early pointers, and he practiced the tiny instrument while on the road. The first album to appear under Bailey's name, made in Japan in the early '80s, featured him on harmonica, not drums, and his current CD closes with a lyrical harmonica reading of the ballad "Blue Gardenia."
Dan Dillon (piano) An early student of the piano Dillon began his studies at age 7 and continues to study both Classical and Jazz Music to this day. By his early 20s he was playing professional jazz gigs with Bay Area recording artists such as Madeline Eastman, Gail Dobson, Eddie Marshal, Chuck Metcalf and others.
In 1977 Dillon moved to New York to study with Master Jazz Pianist Sir Roland Hanna and supported himself with free lance gigs, studio work and accompanying the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. In New York he played with Junior Cook, Bill Hardiman, Rosanna Vitro, Carla White, Atilla Zolar, Warne Marsh, Juni Booth, Richard Pratt, Lincoln Goines, Ben Riley, Mike Formenak, Jeff Hirshfield, Adam Nussbaum, Bobby Watson, Steve Turree, and others. He also studied under Master Be-bop Pianist Barry Harris (at the time the roommate of Thelonious Monk) whom he credits with teaching him the pure art of straight-ahead jazz.
After almost 8 years in the 'Big Apple' Dan moved back to his home in the Bay Area and joining the KDM Jazz Group.
Haruwn Wesley (string bass) San Francisco native Wesley lived, worked, and studied the bass in New York for 10 years before returning to the Bay Area to study with his mentors and jazz legends the late bassist Herbie “Prince” Lewis and drummer Donald “Duck” Bailey. Seeking to create a new voice for New York style straight ahead jazz, he created the KDM Jazz Group to reinterpret the milieu.
Wesley’s artistry and vibrant playing style make him an in-demand session and gig bassist who has played with John Handy, Larry Ridley, Phil Raelin, Jeremy Pelt, James Spaulding, Donald 'Duck' Bailey, Craig Handy, Ed Kelley, Robert Stewart, David Hardiman Sr., Max Perkoff, E.W. Wainwright, Professor Bill Bell, Richard Howell, Destiny Muhammad, Achyutan, Fred Harris, Myron Cohen, Mel Martin, J.D. Grady, and many others.
In addition to the KDM Jazz Group Wesley currently performs with Ducksan's Distones and as a sideman with various groups around the greater SF Bay Area.