Ten years after their debut Smooth Jazz album ALWAYS… made a strong international impact – earning airplay throughout the U.S., Norway, the UK, Japan, Poland and South America - GTF makes a highly anticipated return with CROSS PATHS - an eclectic jazz, pop and R&B infused collection of powerhouse instrumentals, soulful vocals, infectious originals and lush re-imaginings of classics by George Duke and Nat “King” Cole.
The title CROSS PATHS is a reflection of a group whose core dynamic is driven by the intersection and intuitive chemistry of musical talents from Northern and Southern California and beyond. The five piece band is led by its namesakes; San Francisco based married couple George and Tracy Franklin. George is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who plays bass, keyboards and guitar; songwriter and associate producer Tracy also contributes backing vocals.
GTF also includes two San Diego based musicians, Richard “Blitz” Livoni (producer, guitar, drums, percussion, and vocals), John Rekevics (saxophones, flutes, clarinets, horn arrangements) and Keyboardist and acoustic guitarist, John Cain who currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador. Richard is a founding member of the Blitz Brothers and the rock trio Sons of Edison. John Cain has recorded three solo CDs, is an actor and a published author. John Rekevics has performed and/or recorded with Fattburger, Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, The Fifth Dimension, The Temptations and Smooth Jazz guitar great Steve Laury.
Recorded at Richard’s Blitz Recording Studio in San Diego, CROSS PATHS also features exciting contributions from guest artists, keyboard legend Bob James, percussionist Juan Escovedo (from the legendary Escovedo family, and the brother of Sheila E.) and drummer Ron Otis (Earl Klugh, Aretha Franklin, Kem).
“Tracy and I are just amazed at how our paths have crossed with so many amazing artists throughout the moments of our lives,” George says, “and we’re so grateful that some of those intersections include having the opportunity to work with Bob, Juan and Ron. We’re excited to be back, re-introducing what we are about while working with the same musicians who made our debut so memorable. We designed CROSS PATHS to showcase the diversity of the band. We all like different styles of music and those passions are reflected on the collection.”
GTF started out as a concept by George and Tracy in which they could write and produce their songs – but it has since evolved into more of a true band, with all members contributing in the writing, arranging and production of the music. The group traces its origins back to 1997, when George met Richard while playing on a friend’s recording at Blitz Studio. After working on several projects and developing camaraderie with Richard, George and Tracy were inspired to launch their own group concept. Richard introduced them to both Johns, and the chemistry was immediate when they began playing together.
Tracy says, “All being down to earth, genuine and quite humble, the ‘click’ with each was meant to be. We look back on ALWAYS…as a fun time for all, where the magic first began. This time around, it’s as if we were elevated to the next level and simply came to play. We believe we have developed a unique style and everyone has dialed into the process.”