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  1. Jimmy’s Joy
  2. Bobolink
  3. Minor Cha-Cha
  4. Tune for Floyd
  5. Villa on a Hill
  6. Once Forever
  7. Red’s Blue Blues
  8. Marsh March
  9. Blue Turns Green
  10. For Louis
  11. Goodbye to Vienna
  12. What’s Up, Balthazar?

All songs written and arranged by Samuel B. Burckhardt


“Bobolink” marks twenty years since I released my first CD on Airway Records, Sunnyland Slim “Live in Europe – 1975”, and it is the tenth CD on my label. I thought it fitting to release another album of all original compositions, as we did with the first under my own name, “Chicago Swing” (1999). Here, four of the tunes were first released on AR 4763, and oone on AR 4764; both sessions were recorded with Swiss musicians in Basel, Switzerland. For most of these, I have written new arrangements or added another voice to the tune. The rest were written between 2006 and 2011, and have never been recorded.

Two bands were on hand for the recording sessions, all musicians with whom I work on a regular basis in and around Chicago. I selected the tunes to showcase the musicians and their respective instruments. One session centered around pianist Lopez Verady, accompanied by bassist Jake Vinsel and drummer Andre Beasley. The other features Hammond organist Ben Paterson, with guitarist Guy King and again, drummer Andre Beasley.

What had been a mere idea on a piece of paper—in other words my compositions—comes to life in the hands of these amazing musicians. It is as though the tunes go from being a black-and-white sketch on paper to becoming a movie in full color, and I always feel both privileged and inspired, when I hear my compositions played for the first time by such dedicated and talented artists.

Lastly, the CD and its title track are named after a New World blackbird, the Bobolink, a denizen of the prairie whose bubbly song is irrepressible. You may know that I have a particular passion for and fondness of birds. This love and interest was nurtured by my father, Dieter Burckhardt, to whom I dedicate this CD.

Sam Burckhardt, September 2011

Session 1 (Bobolink, Tune for Floyd, Villa on a Hill, Once Forever, Red’s Blue Blues, Marsh March, Blue Turns Green)
Recorded by Blaise Barton at JoyRide Studio, Chicago, Illinois, May 10, 2011
Sam Burckhardt, tenor sax
Leandro Lopez Varady, piano
Jake Vinsel, bass
Andre Beasley, drums

Session 2 (Jimmy’s Joy, Minor Cha-Cha, For Louis, Goodbye to Vienna, What’s Up, Balthazar?)
Recorded by Blaise Barton at JoyRide Studio, Chicago, Illinois, August 10, 2011
Sam Burckhardt, tenor sax
Ben Paterson, Hammond organ
Guy King, guitar
Andre Beasley, drums

Airway Records AR 4766
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