Bill Ortiz, a legendary name synonymous to San Francisco’s music scene, has been receiving nothing but accolades for his debut CD, From Where I Stand, since it was released on July 12th, and he’s returning to Las Vegas backing Carlos Santana for a two week stand at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, September 4th to 15th, 2009.
Bill’s sweet full tone, and clear, distinctive and assertive style has made this San Francisco native one of the most in-demand trumpet players on the Bay Area Music Scene, as well as the entire west coast, for the past 25-years. From Where I Stand, features 13 original compositions that will appeal to all tastes as the disc is, as Bill states, “a diverse musical journey,” that transcends his unique Neo-Soul and Nu-Jazz styles and Funk influences.
Charting on as many as 50 radio stations per week, From Where I Stand has been in frequent rotation nationwide since its release. The most authoritative national music industry magazine, Music Connection, states, “Contemporary jazz trumpet greats have a run for their money now that longtime Santana sideman Ortiz enters the urban jazz scene with this chillin’, artsy yet infectious, easy grooving debut.”
Nate Seltenrich of Oakland’s East Bay Express states, “Despite the Santana connection, there’s no Latin to be found among Ortiz’s thirteen originals; he dabbles instead in jazz, soul, R&B, and even reggae, mastering each language as he goes.”
Veteran Connecticut-based New Haven Advocate and The Entertainer music critic, Ed Jennings, writes on MusicForOurHeart.com, “Right from the first note of the initial track AyeJaye, you know where you stand with your musical guide, Bill Ortiz. You are swept away on a magic carpet ride of orchestrated funk.”
Bill Ortiz has been a member of Carlos Santana’s touring band since 2000, landing the gig after performing on the Santana’s 1999 smash single Smooth from the multi-Grammy-winning, 30-million selling smash CD, Supernatural. Ortiz also appears on the Grammy-winning single The Game of Love from Santana’s 2002 release, Shaman. Carlos Santana states, “Bill articulates the beautiful language of jazz without loosing the purity and innocence of a child. It’s a wonderful experience to share music every night with him.”
From the sensual and scintillating jazzy opener, AyeJaye, to the rollicking Reggae infused Judgment Day, to the soulful and searing sexiness of Slip Into This and Ease My Mind, each track is, not only, a brilliant showcase of Bill’s prodigal trumpet playing, but also a masterwork confirming this San Francisco musician as a compositional genius.
Music Connection Magazine’s review concludes, “Ortiz crafts a set of dreamy seductions with a blend of old school, retro-soul keyboard vibes, liquid atmospheres, languid guitars, silky backing vocals and a moody lead horn vibe that is a contemporary twist on the Miles Davis Sound. While R&B is an obvious influence, Ortiz shows deeper artistic promise on the Latin/Jazz/Reggae tinged ‘Judgement Day.'”
Over two and a half decades, Bill Ortiz’s performing and recording credits include work with such diverse and dynamic artists as Destiny’s Child, Taj Mahal, Tito Puente, Tony Toni TonÃ©, Wayne Shorter, Michelle Branch, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill, Don Cherry, Quincy Jones, Beyonce’ Knowles, Cachao, John McLaughlin, Todd Rundgren, Arturo Sandoval, and Boz Scaggs, to name just a few.