May 19, 2021
Dave Shelton is something of a latecomer when it comes to
playing jazz professionally. He excelled in both the clarinet and
piano in high school, winning top honors in several state-wide
competitions . At Washington University in St. Louis he
multi-tasked, studying classical piano while playing on the varsity
football team and getting both a BA and MBA. While he began
playing at local restaurants and pubs there, he left full-time
music behind when he moved to Chicago and made a career in venture
After attending workshops and private study with several of Chicago's highly regarded jazz teachers - Joan Hickey, Alan Swain, Gary Swerdlow and Larry Novak. - he ventured out again. His first
publicly released album was Christmas Magic...Through the Eyes of a Child, which included several tracks with vocalist Beth Kuhn. Beth and David, along with the members of his trio, have recently collaborated on another project, Drift, which includes the trio plus some vocal tracks, and has three of Dave's originals along with a smart selection of jazz and pop standards.
Podcast 818 is my conversation with Dave Shelton, and he praises his collaborators Mike Staron (bass) and Rick Shandling (drums) as well as Ms. Kuhn. We talk about the Chicago jazz scene, and how he selects pop tunes that will work as jazz improvisations. Musical selections include Ms. Kuhn on "Where or When", the Shelton-penned title track, and a moving rendition of "New York State of Mind."