Released May 25 2018
First thing in the morning, Sheldon would trudge into the small kitchen of his apartment in Barceloneta. He’d make himself an espresso, and then wave at the lady across the lane. He’d place himself in the piano room to practice and write. It was his daily goal to create new music before venturing out to explore the hills and beaches of southern Spain, so it served as excellent motivation. He infused each song with his life experiences along the way. “Tossa de Mar,” for example, paints the picture of Sheldon travelling to a holiday place he had visited as a child on the Costa Brava. On the ride, he discovered that the top gear on his bicycle had a missing sprocket tooth so it would always skip – so he created a travelling melody with a missing beat.
The consistent theme in Sheldon’s composing for his debut album, Tipping Velvet, is to reintroduce strong melody into jazz so that the music stays with you well after it’s played. He used his own tastes and sensibilities to create music that is complicated – but doesn’t sound like it. He took inspiration from contemporary jazz greats such as Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, while keeping in mind the melodic strength of Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, and Miles Davis. Tipping Velvet is Sheldon’s version of melodic jazz that relies on being musical, with the thoughtfulness of a seasoned composer.