In the summer of 2009 Josh recorded his debut jazz CD Midwest Coast. It was recorded on June 14th and 15th at historic Ohio recording studio, Suma, located in Painesville. He recorded his album of nine original jazz compositions with some of Ohio’s very finest jazz musicians including pianist Jackie Warren, bassist Peter Dominguez, and drummer Ron Godale.
Josh composed all of the songs on this CD, a process he began in the fall of 2008. Prior to this CD project, Josh had never seriously composed anything and in preparation for this recording he composed nearly twenty songs. Of all of these songs he decided on nine which were recorded.
It was recorded in the same studio that has seen recordings by Wild Cherry, The James Gang, Grandfunk Railroad, and the Black Keys. Suma owner and sound engineer Paul Hamann was the mastermind behind the recording console and did a brilliant job with recording, mixing, and mastering the CD.
There were many other people involved in this project, including photographer Robert J. Saferstein, artist and graphic designer Mike Rzepka, and long time Cleveland jazz personality Dan Polletta (host of 90.3 WCPN ideastream’s jazz show from 1987 – spring 2009) who lent his ear end expertise to pen the liner notes.
A national radio campaign for Midwest Coast resulted in it charting on all three major jazz radio charts with spins from over 100 radio stations nationwide – reching the #33 position on the JazzWeek Chart, #2 position on the Roots Music Report Jazz chart, and the #15 position on the CMJ Jazz Chart.
On August 18th, Josh was on 90.3 WCPN’s Around Noon with Dee Perry where he was interviewed by Dan Polletta. They previewed the CD and the CD release which was on 8/20/09! Link to podcast!
Midwest Coast’s first full CD review! 9/16/09 In Cleveland SCENE magazine, by Carlo Wolff.
“…an impressive display of chops and taste…Rzepka has crafted a winning, listenable recording debut. Mainstream, bop-based jazz at its most accessible, Midwest Coast is never bland or overly smooth.” – Carlo Wolff – Cleveland SCENE
“Rzepka displays a refreshing grasp of melody and economy of phrase, and, in the singularly lovely “Song for a New Year,” he expresses emotional depth beyond his 25 years.” – Carlo Wolff – Cleveland SCENE