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Gratitude is a colorful mosaic of cultural sounds and world rhythms - the perfect blend of jazz, swing, pop, and a splash of funk. Rob Ryndak and Tom Lockwood have brought more than their extraordinary musical talents to bear; they have put their hearts and souls into the collaboration. About the title, Ryndak says, "Life is about dealing with joys and sorrows, the ups and downs. Too often, we don't appreciate our lives, especially during difficult times. We need to understand that it's all about learning and growing, approaching things with a positive attitude, the glass-is-half-full mindset. Tom and I both understand that we have everything to be thankful for in our lives. Gratitude is the perfect expression of those sentiments."To bring their vision to life, Ryndak and Lockwood assembled an incredibly talented crew of musicians. Grammy Award winner and trumpet master Brian Lynch is impeccable. There is a crisp, clean quality to his tone and fluency to his technique that shines throughout. The versatile guitar work of Sasha Bruin and Karl Seigfried is second to none, and Steve Talaga reminds us what a true jazz pianist sounds like as he skitters across the keyboard in several of Lockwood's creations. The album is further bolstered by it's diversity, unique arrangements by Harold Mims and Max Steinberg, and a haunting cello sound by Ryan Koranda. Micah Rutschman is stellar on vibraphone, and Jeff Moehle (drum set) and Victor Gonzalez, Jr. (congas) round out the cast by laying down a solid backbone of rhythms. Gratitude speaks to the listener on so many different levels, evoking a wide range of imagery and emotions: a stroll along a Punta Cana beach, the noir of a sultry Chicago jazz club, or simply a backdrop for solitary reflection. You need only close your eyes and open your mind. The music will take you there!"