Chris Combs is a guitarist, composer and producer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has spent much of the last ten years on the road and in the studio with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and a variety of other artists from all over the globe. Combs has been featured at some of the world’s premier jazz venues and festivals, including North Sea, Montreal International Jazz Fest, Jazzfestival Saalfelden, NYC Winter Jazz Fest, the Blue Note, Jazz Standard and Turku Jazz.
Combs recently announced a new solo project COMBSY. Written, arranged and produced by Combs, the band features a revolving lineup of musicians from Tulsa and New Orleans.
Released in October of 2017 on Horton Records, the self-titled debut “Combsy” is a lush, groove-heavy album that, under the careful watch of Combs, shows a tremendous amount of emotional depth and maturity as an artist. Combs deftly sources jazz, hip-hop, electronic and rock genres creating a sonic landscape that layers horns and rhythm instruments in a rich, nuanced fashion. At times, the bandleader and architect of this project uses his playing to give direction or cues for change, while at other times, he takes the opportunity of the space created to spread out and explore. Although far from careful, “Combsy” comes to the ear as curated and intentional and with a healthy sense of both the history and future of the genre.
Primarily tracked in October 2016, the core tracks were recorded live as a trio to 2″ tape at Fellowship Hall in Little Rock, Arkansas, with Aaron Boehler (bass) and Andrew Bones (drums, vibraphone). Combs then took those recordings on a swampy journey to New Orleans where horns were added. At Marigny Studio, Combs added Brad Walker (tenor sax, Sturgill Simpson), Dan Oestreicher (bass/bari sax, Trombone Shorty) and Carly Meyers (trombone, Roar). With all components in place, Combs finished the project in his home studio.
“I’m proud of the art being made in Oklahoma right now and I’m proud to be an Okie,” said Combs. “There is a great energy and some truly unique, original music being created. You don’t have to be living in Nashville, New York, or L.A. anymore to have a career and I think that is changing the caliber of art being made here. I feel both supported and challenged by our community and look forward to watching the creative landscape of Oklahoma change and evolve.”
Since the release, the album has been garnering praise and critical acclaim from fans and press alike. The band will continue to tour internationally in 2018.
For more information and to listen to their music, please visit COMBSY’s listing in the Oklahoma Music Directory.