Hidden Indoors (Feat. Aaron Hardin, George “Spanky” McCurdy, Micah Smith, Thomas Adam Johnson) (2020)
Like most people in the world this year, I spent the majority of my time quarantined. Thankfully, it’s been a kind of cocoon for me. I’ve been discovering new interests, ideas and talents that I otherwise might have been too busy to give a second thought. My goal for right now is to come out of this season better than I was when it all started. So this song is my way of cataloging this very strange and interesting time, making the best of and getting the most out of it.
Really Love (2020)
A song celebrating the journey of love, Really Love is Chris’ ninth release as a leader. It features two distinct versions of a tune he wrote partly inspired by a fire which nearly destroyed the adjacent apartment and the experience of playing on the score of a film by the same title of the album. One version features the vocal stylings of Chris’ wife, Shaylah Stevens and long time friend Eric Roberson. He is accompanied by his father Donald C. Stevens Jr. along with Aaron Hardin (Piano), Ian Macaulay (Guitar), Brett Baker (Drums), and Korey Riker (Flute). The second track is a revisitation of the early draft of the tune which was intended for The Chris Stevens Quartet. Thus, he is joined by Corey Bernhard (Piano), Simon Martinez (Guitar), Nicholas A. Salcido (Bass), and Marlon B. Lewis Jr. (Drums)
Not This Time (2018)
This is an independent production by Chris Stevens. This track is a tiny window into Chris’ affinity toward the dance genre, and his ability to realize it using his several talents as an instrumentalist and a producer.
The Future Is Bright (2018)
The fourth installment from Vertical Current will lift your spirit and make you move your body all in one fell swoop.
Actual Intelligence (2017)
“Philly trumpeter Chris Stevens is a busy, busy man. He played World Cafe Live Friday and wrapped up his run of gigs with singer Eric Roberson last night at Baltimore soundstage. Then he jets back to Jersey to blow on three shows with John Legend, beginning at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion. Then, after a breather, he and his Quartet will celebrate the album release for their latest, Actual Intelligence, at the Kimmel Center’s Sittin’ In night. In addition to keys player Brett Kinard, bassist Nick Salcido and drummer Marlon Brand Lewis Jr., Stevens teams up with jazz vet Korey Riker on Flute and vocalist Roland V. Holmes on the record, among others. Recorded by Jeff Thomas and mixed/mastered by Phil Nicolo, the record is poised to span eras — at least that’s the vibe I get from the lead single “West Camden,” which boasts some sweet, bustling Miles-esque tones at the outset and folds in other instruments as it progresses, concluding with a layer of abstract synthesizer as the song dissolves into space.” – John Vettese, WXPN The Key
This is Chris’ very first album under his own name and the debut of his jazz combo, The Chris Stevens Quartet. It was recorded mostly live in the studio and straight to 2 inch tape for a very earthy and vintage flavor.
After Midnight (2017)
“Speaking of uplifting, meet Vertical Current, a local gospel funk-jazz six piece. Their new After Midnight album was recorded live at Gradwell House Studio in New Jersey, and the band — trumpet and flugelhorn player Christopher Stevens; bassist Donald C. Stevens Jr.; keys player Ali Prawl; guitarists Jordan Damiani; percussionist Walt Nash; and drummer Maurice D. Fonville filling in for Brandon Mullen — mix sentiments of praise with tear-the-roof-off energy. It reminds me of the time I saw The Holmes Brothers in the rain at Philadelphia Folk Fest; in both that set and this album, whatever your personal spiritual beliefs might be, it’s hard be unmoved.”- John Vettese, WXPN The Key
“As we approach the light, we begin to see things once obscured by the night. As darkness fades, our hearts are filled with the newness of the day…”
Bright Side Of Midnight (2014)
“Bright Side Of Midnight is a body of work that is intended to express hope! On the surface it’s a blend of jazz standards with a twist and some really funky originals. However, the concept is not only about outlasting the darkness, but also racing toward the light! The difference between p.m. and a.m. can be as small as a second. Though you may not see it yet, your expectation is to see the sun arise out of the darkness. In the midnights of life, we have to maintain the hope of the sun. The bright side of midnight is that the new day has already begun.”
Signs Of Life Music Vol.1: The Music of Vertical Current & Shaylah (2011)
This album is music from a joint production venture between Chris and his wife Shaylah. It is comprised of songs that were written several years before the formation of Chris’ first band, Vertical Current, but most remained unreleased until 2011 when the band debuted their EP “aRe”. All instruments played by Chris Stevens and all vocals by Shaylah Stevens.
Signs Of Life Music Vol.2: A Signs Of Life Christmas (2012)
This album is a collaboration between Chris, Shaylah and several friends.
Awake– All vocals by Shaylah Stevens
Let It Snow– All instruments by Chris Stevens, except Vocoder by Jordan Damiani
Little Drummer Boy– Drum programming, Trumpet & Keys by Chris Stevens, Bass by Don Stevens, Guitar by Harry Wilson, Rap by Lawrence “Concepts” Lockett, Vocals by Randall Potter
Jingle Bells– All instruments by Chris Stevens
We Three Kings– Guitar/Arrangement by Jordan Damiani, Drums by Steve Mckie, Synth/Keybass/Drum Programming by Chris Stevens
Silent Night– All instruments by Chris Stevens, except Bass by Don Stevens
Snow Day– All instruments by Chris Stevens