Eric Essix has been steadily making his mark on the contemporary jazz scene since his debut album, First Impressions (Nova Records) in 1988. But it was the release of his 1998 Small Talk CD (Zebra Records/ Warner/Electric/Atlantic) that pushed him into the spotlight. The album’s first single, “For Real”, put the Alabama born guitarist on the map and gave him his first bona fide, national radio hit. He would have many more over the years including “Rainy Night In Georgia” from his Southbound CD in 2000 (Zebra Records/Warner/Electra/Atlantic) and “Shuttlesworth Drive” from his Birmingham album in 2009 (Lightyear Entertainment/Capitol Records) which peaked at #1 on the Smoothjazz.com Indie Charts for 7 consecutive weeks. In 2013, he went to #1 again with a deeply moving original composition entitled “Foot Soldiers” from his album Evolution (Essentials Recordings).
Always searching for new musical challenges, Eric decided to experiment with a new band in 2014. He recruited Grammy nominated keyboardist/bassist Kelvin Wooten and long time drummer James “PJ” Spraggins to join him on a project he’d long envisioned; a modern version of the traditional guitar/organ/drums trio. After nearly a year of touring both in the U.S. and Europe, the three Alabama natives headed to Wishbone Studios in legendary Muscle Shoals to record their debut, the self titled album Eric Essix MOVE Trio!
The common thread in this Trio’s musical tapestry is Eric’s rich guitar sound which, over the course of a song, can change from sparkling clean and warm, to gritty and smoking hot at a moments notice. In addition to his role at the head of the MOVE Trio, as a sideman, Eric and his signature red Gibson guitar have shared the stage with a variety of A-List artists including Peabo Bryson, Ronnie Laws, Jeff Lorber, Mindy Abair, Eric Darius, and Peter White. Eric is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and is the youngest person ever inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
When you see the Eric Essix MOVE Trio onstage, there is little doubt that drummer “PJ” Spraggins is the band’s “heartbeat”. A composer, producer and bandleader in his own right, PJ has released three solo CD’s and has played with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves, Kirk Whalum, Alex Bugnon, and Marcus Miller. He has been a key component in many of Eric’s ensembles for more than 15 years.
MOVE’s Kelvin Wooten is clearly the “soul” of the group. His ability to play multiple parts on the keyboards and piano in real time excites audiences everywhere the group performs. Kelvin has produced and written hits for dozens of artists over the past 20 years receiving Grammy nominations for his work with Mary J Blige and Anthony Hamilton. He has worked in the studio or performed live with Jill Scott, Lalah Hathaway, Raphael Saadiq, Earth Wind & Fire, Tony!Toni!Tone!, the Bee Gees, Angie Stone and many more.
Together, the members of the Eric Essix MOVE Trio create their own exquisite and uniquely Southern blend of Jazz, Soul, R&B, and Gospel.
“Eric’s great guitar captures the natural essence of a southern groove master…" Paula Edelstein, AllMusic
“An extraordinarily diverse guitarist …" Jonathan Widran, AllMusic