McConnell's Music
McConnell's Music 

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McConnell’s Music

Mills River, North Carolina


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TOO MINGUS (hardcopy or streaming purchases)


Bryan McConnell, former bass player for jazz greats John Handy and Bobby Hutcherson, brings his original compositions, and a few of his cover tune arrangements, to his new album, Too Mingus, with his 8-piece jazz ensemble! Inspired by musician/composer, Charles Mingus, the birth of these compositions started 40 years ago, and have evolved into the masterpieces they are today!!



Thank you to JULIE, my wife, my love, and partner…your love and encouragement was the main reason I decided to record my music. Also for singing so beautifully on the 2 Mingus pieces on this album. To the MUSICIANS, each of you brought your expertise, enthusiasm, and joy to the music. BRAVO and thank you! To PHIL LUDWIG of Seclusion Hill Music, thank you again for another great recording session, and a your expertise in sound engineering.



  • THE BEAST, a funky little ditty! It's about my latest bass, new to me for a year or so, and 7/8 in size. Until now I played a 3/4…thus THE BEAST!
  • ALL BLUES, a Miles Davis tune…I recorded this one years ago in it's original 6/8 time signature. But this arrangement is in 4/4. Why? It lays better for me this way. 
  • WEIRD NIGHTMARE, a Charles Mingus ballad recorded in 2018, and has been available in digital form since then. It features the late Bill Gerhardt on piano, and Justin Watt drums. But it’s right at home on this latest CD, being the perfect fit.
  • PRAYER… this one is just that. It has evolved over the years, but has stayed true to the original theme…a journey in praise, and expression of thankfulness. 
  • ECLIPSE, another Charles Mingus piece. This is a love piece, done in a rumba style.
  • TOO MINGUS…This is one of my first compositions. I began notating this in 1986, originally for a big band. I lost the parts and score, then 10 years later I remembered enough to notate it again. There are words too, although not on this recording… "Couldn’t they hear it? Couldn’t they feel it? Can't you hear the pops and sizzles, like bacon fryin, I'm not lyin…better get hit in your soul…RIGHT NOW!!”  



SENZA FINE (hardcopy or streaming purchases)


These 13 songs range from the "outside" to the "well known"...all compelling jazz pieces brilliantly performed by vocalist Julie McConnell and her two bands, with exciting and new arrangements by Michael Jefry Stevens, Bill Gerhardt, and Bryan McConnell.



Liner Notes:


This has been such an interesting and fulfilling journey making this CD. Some of these songs I’ve wanted to record for nearly 20 years, but it was never quite the right time or the right combination of musicians...until now.


I should have known that returning to the Blue Ridge Mountains after working and living in California for 26 years would bring this project to fruition, because these stupendous musicians and people were exactly what I’ve been looking for...hand picked songs for hand picked musicians, in the form of two bands for this one CD! It’s so easy to work with these musicians because they’re all band leaders in their own right...makes my job so much easier!


This CD was skillfully recorded, mixed, and mastered by Phil Ludwig at Seclusion Hill Music in Asheville, North Carolina. Thanks Phil, for your first class service and warm welcome.


Senza Fine...not just a title, but a metaphor for my music, my life, this beautiful place I live, and my great love and respect for my husband and best friend, bassist Bryan McConnell.

-Julie McConnell




LOVE IS HERE (hardcopy or streaming purchases)


"As a debut CD collection, this is one of the finest to come along in a long time.  It is refreshingly original in scope.  It is entertaining and melodic.  So get a copy and settle back for some of the most lovely treatments of American standards you will hear this year, or any year.  Highly recommended."
       ~Lee Prosser,



Liner notes:


I’d like to thank Sky Ladd and Kevin Green for lending their superb musical talents and time to this recording.  You guys are the best!


Special thanks to Jim and Valerie Reeves for the boundless generosity they put into this project, as well as their unwavering friendship and belief in me, not just as a musician, but as a person.
And my deepest thanks to my soulmate and best friend, Bryan McConnell, whose patience, encouragement, time, skill, talent, example, insight and love made me believe in myself.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Also, thanks to the wonderful staff at Studio West who made the recording process feel so easy and enjoyable.  You guys are first class!


Final thanks goes to the countless many among my friends and family who have been so supportive of my musical endeavors.  There is no one more fortunate than I to have each and every one of you in my life.

~Julie McConnell



LIVE AT THE ELKHORN SLOUGH YACHT CLUB (hardcopy or streaming purchases)


"This group’s minimal instrumentation is used to its advantage throughout the disc, in the spaces one can almost hear the Monterey Bay, boats in the harbor gently swaying in their berths and pelicans swooping into the water, returning to weathered pylons to eat their catch.  In such a setting, the trio takes us in and transports us, story after story, tune after tune. These musicians are playing some delicately subtle, creative pieces crafted with nuance and the mastery that comes from over a century of collective experience.


The music---the product far greater than the sum of it’s parts---represents three individuals of like mind and purpose, who on a given day got together and performed to the delight of an appreciative audience. Luckily, they had the foresight to record this so we, along with ensuing generations, can enjoy it. You should be listening to this music!"

~Bruce Forman, guitarist/author



Liner Notes:


I began my journey into music production years ago for the love the song; the songs that spoke to me, resonating deeply within experiences both imagined and real. When you take a song in so deeply and so passionately as to live and breathe it, it truly becomes your own to share with the world.


That is what Bryan McConnell, our “First Artist in Residence,” has done here with Dottie Dodgion, and Jackie Coon; a trio living, breathing, and playing together as one lyrical and musical life force. That is simpatico at its best. This is their gift. I listen, and I love it!

~Brian Gingerich, CD Producer, CEO Monterey Mattress Marquee


Thank You…

-To my brother Mark, who taught me to relax and let the music play me---love you, Bro!

-To Christine & Bill McConnell for their support and encouragement, to date.

-To Jackie and Dottie---you are both my heroes!

-To Brian Gingerich, Doris Stockpole,--without your assistance and belief in me, this project would not have become a reality.

~Bryan McConnell

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