Ten years after their debut Smooth Jazz album “Always…” made a strong international impact - earning Global airplay - GTF made a highly anticipated return with “Cross Paths” in 2018 - an eclectic jazz, pop and R&B infused collection of powerhouse instrumentals, soulful vocals, infectious originals and lush reimagining of classics by George Duke and Nat “King” Cole. Legendary Bob James guests on both CD’s.
GTF is a group whose core dynamic is driven by the intersection and intuitive chemistry of musical talents from Northern and Southern California and beyond. The six piece band is led by its namesakes, George and Tracy Franklin. George is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who plays bass, keyboards and guitar; songwriter and associate producer Tracy has also contributed backing vocals.
The group includes two San Diego based musicians, Richard “Blitz” Livoni (producer, guitar, drums, percussion, vocals) and John Rekevics (saxophones, flutes, clarinets, horn arrangements) has performed and/or recorded with Fattburger, Natalie Cole (RIP), Johnny Mathis, The Fifth Dimension, The Temptations and Smooth Jazz guitar great Steve Laury. Keyboardist, vocalist, and acoustic guitarist John Cain currently lives in New Orleans. From Detroit, Ron Otis, drummer, also plays with Jonathan Butler, Earl Klugh, Bob James, Kem, Cheryl Lynn as well as 15 years with the late Aretha Franklin (RIP). Last, but definitely not least, Juan Escovedo of the famed Escovedo Family with father Pete, sister Sheila E., and brother Peter Michael provides percussion and is credited with playing with Prince (RIP), Lionel Richie and more.
‘Tracy and I feel blessed and are amazed at how our paths have crossed with so many incredible artists, with whom have become friends,” George says, “We’re excited to be back at it, releasing a few singles as we work toward our next CD planned to be released by Spring 2021.”
GTF started out as a concept by George and Tracy in which they could write and produce their music - but it has since evolved into more of a true band, with all members contributing in the writing, arranging and production of the music. The group traces its origins back to 1997, when George met Richard while playing on a friend’s recording at Richard’s Blitz Studio in San Diego. After working on several projects and developing a camaraderie with Richard, George and Tracy decided to launch their own group concept. Richard introduced them to both Johns, and the chemistry was immediate when they began playing together.
Tracy says, “All the guys are down to earth, genuine and quite humble, the “click” with each one, and collectively, was meant to be. We look back on “Always…” as a fun time for all, where the magic began. This time around, it’s as if we were elevated to the next level and simply came to play. We believe we have developed a unique style and everyone has dialed into the process.”