A Bird in the Hand



About A Bird in the Hand


Album Release Date: October 21, 2014

Executive Producer and Music Director: Duffy Jackson

Associate Producer: Ben Bailey



A Bird in the Hand is the culmination of an idea, a dream and a response to a call when an opportunity lands in your nest. 

Ben tells the story as if it happened yesterday.


“I clearly remember the evening I decided that I would one day sit behind the drums for a big band of world class jazz musicians and swing my heart out. I was in high school. Count Basie’s Orchestra was performing at a local school. I went to hear an amazing jazz orchestra being kicked and swung by drummer, Duffy Jackson. He showed passion and a complete mastery of power and control.”

Ben Bailey During Recording Session (photo by Peyton Hoge)
Ben Bailey During Recording Session (photo by Peyton Hoge)











This sense of Duffy’s musicianship and personality was instantly and permanently etched in Ben’s mind.

Nashville Big Band Ensemble during Recording Session at Musicians Association (photo by Peyton Hoge)
Nashville Big Band Ensemble during Recording Session at Musicians Association (photo by Peyton Hoge)

“The way Duffy drove the Basie band elevated everyone around him, the band and the audience. He made the music come alive like NOTHING I had ever experienced. All I knew was that I wanted to do THAT someday.”

Duffy Jackson and Ben Bailey
Duffy Jackson and Ben Bailey (photo by Peyton Hoge)







On Ben’s birthday in May 2012 the legendary big band drummer Duffy Jackson called Ben with a very special invitation. Duffy invited Ben to come to Nashville and make a recording with his Nashville Big Band. The band was comprised of the world’s finest all-star studio musicians. And, an amazing experience of music ensued and a relationship of two kindred spirits was forged.


About the Songs: Prior to the recording sessions Duffy and Ben carefully selected songs that had not been widely recorded or that could be presented with new tempos and grooves to illustrate Ben’s approach to the arrangements.

“Billy’s Blues” was written by Billy Byers and is a buried treasure with a furious swinging tempo. There are no known recordings of this particular arrangement, only sections that have been recorded as part of other arrangements in the Count Basie orchestra. Bruce Dudley takes a fast paced and creative piano solo and Ben ends the song with a drum feature.

“Why Bother” is a fantastic Matt Harris composition originally recorded by the Buddy Rich Band at a very fast tempo. Duffy encouraged Ben to play this version with a much slower and funkier tempo to enable the band to sit deeply within the groove. This version features some amazing tenor saxophone soloing by Kenny Anderson of Miami Sound Machine fame.

About the Recording and Production: CJ Boggs, the live sound engineer with Taylor Swift, was the lead engineer for the Ben’s debut album. CJ was selected because of his extensive experience with live sound recording. He leveraged the live environment of the Nashville Musicians Association Union to record all of the musicians in one large room at one time.

Unlike many of today’s isolated instrument recordings, there was no sound baffling, separation, or sound-proofing materials used in the room. Each song was recorded in one or two takes and there was no overdubbing during the session. These recording techniques give the project a live energy that is hard to resist. The album was mastered in Nashville by the well- known studio legend Tom Knox.

Ben recorded with DW drums and Crescent Cymbals