Carolina Music: "Liquid" - Carolina Country


By Al Strong

Photo: Chris Charles of Creative Silence

Superb horn smoothly weaves with drums, bass and piano in Al’s elegant, mellow song, one of ten 10 tracks on his versatile album, “LoveStrong Volume 1.”

The collection blends progressive jazz, soul and afro-beat grooves, and offers six original compositions and four contemporary renditions of standards. Other standout tracks include the swinging “Getaway 9,” the nostalgic “Was,” “Ci’s Blues,” and the sophisticated “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Al’s ensemble of talented musicians, including Jeremy “Bean” Clemons and Lovell Bradford, achieves a lush interplay that comes with truly being in the moment.

Al’s ensemble of talented musicians achieves a lush interplay that comes with truly being in the moment

Al and music go way back. His grandfather introduced him to greats like Ray Charles and Jimmy Smith, and early memories include his grandmother playing gospel hymns at in-home church services. As a child, he experimented with various instruments before selecting the trumpet, and nourished his musical inclinations in gifted programs in junior high.

An alumni of the Duke Ellington School for Performing Arts with a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University, he mentors music students as an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University in Durham. Al also co-founded The Art of Cool Project, a nonprofit, jazz-presenting organization.

More from this Carolina Musician

Learn more about this dedicated trumpet cat and his upcoming performances at, and find his music online, available from these services.

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