Universal Joint

My brother Tim dropped this jazz record on me about a decade ago. It's amazing. Sadly, I have no idea who made it. I'm putting this out there with hopes that someone finds it and can shed some light.

As research projects go, there are a few things working against it. Universal Joint is a common name. There are a few bands, and compilation album using the title. To further complicate matters it's also a mechanical object and plumbing fixture. There is even a pub near me with the name.  

There is little to no information on this album anywhere online. It's not for sale. 

A gentleman named Aaron Lington may have played baritone sax. That page states a publish date of 1996. I've emailed him.

I'll keep diggin' and update this page as I go.

UPDATE: Aaron got back to us immediately and he was extremely generous. Here was his response:

Universal Joint was really the project of the keyboardist on the record, Eddy Hobizal. To my recollection, he got an outside investor (I personally don’t know who it was) who fronted the money for Eddy to put together this “acid jazz” album. So we did it and they shopped it around to some labels (back when you COULD actually do that kind of thing), but nothing ever came of it....the CD languished, they never printed more copies, and that’s that. I never remember any real marketing campaign or anything, so it’s no surprise that nothing came of it, despite the amazing talent on the record.

There were some BAD (meaning good) dudes on that record. I didn’t know Eddy very well when he asked me to play baritone sax on the record (I was pretty young...21 or 22), but I have a feeling that he asked some of the other horn players who to get and they recommended me (I knew several of the guys in the horn section very well from other bands).

The record was recorded mainly in Houston, TX at a studio called Sugar Hill (which is still there....great engineer Andy Bradley http://sugarhillstudios.com/). I say, mainly, because I am pretty sure some of the rapping was recorded elsewhere and then edited on top of the rhythm section and horns. But the bulk was done at Sugar Hill.

After the record was released, nothing happened with it that I recall for several months. Then, we did ONE gig in Austin at a club on Sixth Street (Sixth Street is kind of the “strip” in Austin for live music venues). The gig had several bands on a single bill. And that was basically it. A studio band that did one gig! It was fun, though.

So, the personnel....I’ll list who’s on the record (I’m looking at my copy now) and I’ll try to tell you something about them if I know it:

Eddy Hobizal, keys/leader - graduate of HSPVA in Houston (famous performing arts high school...Kirk Whalum went there, Kendrick Scott, Mike Moreno, Walter Smith...etc etc), finalist in the Monk competition...ended up in Austin I believe. He recorded on a GREAT record with a couple of friends of mine (Steve Smith and Wil Swindler...I went to UNT with them) about 5-6 years ago called “Chamber Jazz Ensemble” (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chamberjazz)

Pete Lucas, vox, gtr, sounds - don’t know him

Dennis Dotson, tpt - former jazz tpt with Woody Herman. Still in Houston and I see him every year usually. Great guy.

David Caceres, a sax - Berklee grad...still in Houston...interesting fact that his great-Uncle is Ernie Caceres who played bari sax in the Metronome All-Star band with Miles, Bird, Dizzy, etc.

David Detweiler, t sax - great player who last I knew was in NYC....was on road for a bit with Brian Setzer...I went to UNT with his sister who plays flute.

Andre Hayward, tbn - also a Monk competition finalist, has recorded with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orch, the Dave Holland Big Band...on and on...he moved to NYC after Houston and made a BIG splash....he’s back in Texas now gigging and teaching

Aaron Lington, bari

Mike Severson, gtr - don’t know him

Clifton Smith II, bass - don’t know him

Keith Vivens, bass - GREAT old friend that I once injured terribly playing a friendly softball game in Houston..he was pitching to me and I hit a line drive that hit he ear and tore a little piece off of it...he had to have it stitched back on (the piece, not his whole ear!)...man I felt terrible....Keith and I (along with David Caceres) played for YEARS in a GREAT funk band in Houston called TKOh! 7 horns and rhythm....was killing

David Craig, acoustic bass - probably the best respected upright bassist in Houston....still there gigging all the time

Chris “Daddy” Dave, drums - was with the band Mint Condition at the time...has since made a HUGE name for himself with Robert Glasper and many others (even Adele!) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Dave

Bob Chadwick, flute - still in Houston...used to run the longest running jam session in Houston (weekly for over 15 years) at a pub called Rudyard’s

Zach Carrettin, violin - don’t know him

Whew! That was a trip down nostalgia lane. I put the CD in my car today driving home and got a big smile on my face; thanks for that!
— Aaron Lington - Baritone Sax

I later learned that my brother, Tim, did manage to find a used copy of the CD awhile back on eBay or Amazon.