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Jazz CD's

Scroll down to read reviews, listen to samples and purchase John Shapley's Jazz CD's ! 

John Shapley Octet

The Essence of ellington


Authentic, swinging transcriptions of original compositions of genius American composer Duke Ellington played by the John Shapley Octet; features the all-star talents of veteran south Florida musicians. Since it's inception in 1994, the John Shapley Octet has grown in popularity among mainstream jazz listeners throughout the United States. Through the heterogeneous blend of three saxophones, two brass, and rhythm section, this band has a truly dynamic and interesting sound. It is a slight departure from the "Big Band Sound", using less instruments and achieving a rich sound in the five-horn section. The repertoire includes styles spanning jazz history as well as original compositions which are an innovative blend of new and familiar sounds.

The band appears regularly at jazz festivals and concerts in the south Florida area, tours frequently in the southeastern United States at various clubs and venues, and conducts jazz clinics in public schools and universities. John Shapley's talents include mastery of all the saxophones, flute, and clarinet. He also is a master composer, arranger and professor of music. The John Shapley Octet prides itself in performing traditional jazz music and in entertaining audiences of all ages. Of particular importance is the the recent "Tribute to Duke Ellington" children's jazz education program that has been implemented in the public schools throughout the state of Florida.


Innovative, energized, original, and still "cool-school."  Shapley's ability to integrate traditional sounds with new and innovative energy is tireless......few do justice to the sounds that Duke blessed us with, and Shapley is able to not only present these sounds dynamically and crisply, but able to simultaneously remind us of the spontaneity and improvisation inherent in this true art form. Can't stop listening!

Dr. Annie Rafuls-Miami, Florida                                                                                                                                                                        

Creative & innovative sounds. Shapley puts a creative & innovative twist on classic big band sounds. each time I listen I find his style refreshing & easy to listen to. I recommend this CD to any age group,especially those who enjoy the unique sound of the tenor sax combined with the wonderful sound of brass,drums & even a little Ella Fitzgerald.Great job John!

Dr. Bob Pondolfino, Sr.-Oneonta, New York


John Shapley Jazz Ensembles


John Shapley's talents include mastery of all the Saxophones, Flute, and Clarinet. A graduate of the Florida State University School of Music and the Eastman School of Music, John Shapley's musical ensembles have entertained audiences at jazz clubs and music festivals throughout the United States. He has appeared at several notable South Florida jazz venues including the Hollywood Jazz Festival, O'Hara's Jazz Club, the Jazz Showcase, the Miami Center for the Fine Arts, and Art Deco Festival Miami. As a soloist he has appeared with Keely Smith, Bobby Rydell, the Temptations, the Four Tops, and many others. He currently leads his own musical groups at festivals and private affairs in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area and throughout the southeastern United States. John Shapley Octet is active performing a Tribute to Duke Ellington for audiences of all ages including elementary school children.


"This CD has been on my CD changer for a year! John Shapley Jazz Ensembles is a monster showcase for a monster talent. Shapley has rounded up a stellar ensemble of Miami jazz performers (piano, bass, drums, woodwinds & brass) and has let them shine, while he himself doubles, triples and sometimes quadruples on all saxes, flute and bass clarinet. Chelsea Bridge is not to be missed for the sexist ballad ever blown through a tenor. 1,000 Eyes is a funky Latin groove that will make you get up and samba even if you don't know how. Dance Cadaverous has gorgeous linear keys, and Shapley creates the sound of a huge ensemble with his clever versatility on almost all woodwinds. Hangin' Together couples trumpet and sax in an engaging duet. The Suite for Art Blakey (Shapley's original) sets the house on fire with blazing runs and dazzling changes".

Sandy Wright-Yen, Music Hatchery-Cotate,California

"This is the one to listen to when you can't decide what else to listen to. I listen to this over and over yet never tire of these refreshing sounds.Such great classic jazz sounds that you can't hear anymore.Quality without being overwhelming.Thank you John Shapley. Pure style"!

Dr. Bob Pondolfino Sr.-Oneonta, New York

"Fresh, crisp, alive, yet sincere to the "Masters"! Shapley does a tremendous job of presenting vibrant, sharp,new, and alive sounds, while remaining true to the Masters.....he reminds us of how this great music touches the spirit, soul, brain, and entire psyche! Coltrane, Dizzy, and Duke would even stand up and clap! Dr. Annie Goldstein-Rafuls Miami, Florida What a listening treasure! This CD flows so well I can listen to it for hours! From romantic ballads to swinging dance, John Shapley and his Jazz Ensemble do a dazzling performance! Whether you're looking for upbeat, classical, or sexy, jazz, this CD has it all"!

Mitch Zippay-Tallahassee, Florida