CHAZ LIPP is a US jazz saxophonist who works in and around Marysville, Washington. Indeed the locality is fortunate to have Chaz teaching music to the area’s wannabee musicians while from time to time Chaz does get to “play out” too.

You can sample his sound and style as he gears up to release what is, we think, his debut album. ‘Good Merlin’ is the title of the long player and it’s credited to THE CHAZ LIPP GROOVE TRIPP. The band consists of Chaz Lipp on alto saxophone, Charlie Hiestand – piano, Trevor Pelletier – upright bass, and Chris Patin on drums. The vocals come courtesy of Sanjaya Malakar (he fronts seven of the album’s nine tunes) and some might know Sanjaya as a recent finalist on American Idol.

The team’s ‘Good Merlin’ album is a mix of new tunes – the straight ahead jazz of the title track is one – and respectful yet enjoyable covers of well-known standard like ‘Nature Boy’ and ‘Summertime’.

It’s difficult to breathe something new into the familiar but the Groove Tripp succeed in offering fresh perspectives. Possibly that’s because the musicians have come together to have fun in their own way and that enjoyment is evident from the very start. They’re not hide-bound by convention or by what they may have worked on before. The freshness of the familiar also comes via Sanjaya Malakar’s remarkable voice. Different, unusual, unexpected are all adjectives that could be used to describe his singing. Noteworthy and sensual too … little wonder he made the finals of American Idol. Hear him at his best on ‘Watermelon Man’ and ‘Take The A Train’, that latter in particular will sweep you right along!

Find out more about Chaz and his Groove Tripp @