Smooth Jazz and Soul
Fingerprints, the popular Dallas based sextet, is known as “one of the best kept music secrets in the South.” For many years standing room-only crowds have been lining up to hear the perfect blend of jazz and R&B by the Fingerprints musicians at venues and music festivals throughout the South and Southwest. With five accomplished CDs to date (Fingerprints, Reunion Live, Summertime Music, DNA and the latest release Dream Life), the distinguished sound of Fingerprints has been shaped through the years by its long-term members: Frederick Nichelson (bass), Claud Hardrick (saxophone, flute, vocals), Ardina Lockhart (lead vocals), Kennan Wylie (drums, percussion), Jordache Grant (keyboards), and Robert Lacroix (guitar). Their long anticipated fifth CD, Dream Life, on the Pacific Coast Jazz label follows the enormous popularity of their last release, DNA, and proves this contemporary jazz band deserves greater national and international recognition. On Dream Life the band delivers exceptional grooves, emotional energy and some of the most soulful covers around. According to bassist and leader Frederick Nichelson, “Some of our work is comparable to groups like The Crusaders, Spyro Gyra and Pieces of a Dream, but we are careful to stay away from being over produced and seldom use midi-sequencing. We want to be known as a “real band” whose recognized sound of soul, blues and jazz have evolved through over twenty years of live performance.“ Along with electrifying performances on Dream Life, the CD features surprise guest artists like Bernard Wright, Mel Scott, Todd Parsnow, Shelley Carol, Larry Davis, John Gordon, and Richard Smith. The songs on Dream Life are appealing originals by band members or musical guests along with three cover tunes written by, jazz icon Herbie Hancock (Tell Me A Bedtime Story), Grammy award winning songwriter Diane Warren (For You I Will) and a classic jazz standard by the great Tadd Dameron (Lady Bird). However, what is most special about this CD is the fourth track, “I Am A Man” with inspiring vocals from Tim Jones. Memphis native Frederick Nichelson was honored to co-write the title song with Stax/Volt artist Deanie Parker for the documentary, I Am A Man (www.iamamanthemovie.com). Produced by the Memphis Tourism Foundation in partnership with Running Pony Productions and Old Bridge Media, the all-Memphis team also included Switch Creative and Electraphonic Recording. The documentary is the story of one man, Elmore Nickelberry, and his fight for dignity, justice, and the power of the human spirit. Surrounded by the soul music that helped make Memphis famous, Mr. Nickleberry tells an uplifting life story of endurance and character as he is joined by the men and women of the 1968 sanitation strike whose courageous stand helped change the world forever. Dr. Martin Luther King supported their plight by saying to the public that "our society must come to respect the sanitation worker."
The group, Fingerprints, was founded in 1986 by guitarist Roy Machado and bassist Frederick Nichelson while they were both music students at the prestigious University of North Texas. “We started the band in college,” said Nichelson, “and have stayed together since that time in collaborations and performances. Many of our other band mates and fellow students at the time went on to success with major artists like the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Harry Connick, Jr, Seal, Sheryl Crow and others. We felt it was important to create our own voice in the music community and remained dedicated to that idea. ”Nichelson, a native “Memphian”, grew up in the shadow of Stax Records legends and their contemporaries such as, The Memphis Horns, Kirk Whalum and the Bar-Kays. In addition to the “core group”, Fingerprints frequently features talented vocalists including Cheryl Jones, Ardina Lockhart, and Toni Redd.