The Winston Jazz Routine is not an easy thing to describe or summarize, especially for promotional purposes. A full “biography” would necessarily contain the tale of its diverse array of members and contributors, for its roster includes a collection of musicians, vocalists, producers, writers, and visual artists. There are childhood friends and new acquaintances; family members young and elderly, dead and alive; grandfathers, mothers, and younger brothers; homeless pianists, orchestra conductors, students in high school and college, married church members and librarians. Telling the whole tale would involve weaving together the stories of these dozens of people as they have grown and changed, as their lives have overlapped in basements and attics, kitchens and back porches, diners and coffee shops,recording studios, classrooms, churches, even on the telephone across hundreds of miles.
The Winston Jazz Routine can be described as the life of this community shaped into musical or, more broadly, into artistic expression by chief songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nathan Phillips. The Winston Jazz Routine is his documentation through sound of the people, places, experiences and art he encounters. His compositions, although lyrically often personal introspection or fictional narrative, articulate the stuff of real life with common relevance. More profoundly, the various forms of band, orchestra and choir, or studio collaboration that he assembles to accompany his lone voice and piano are evidence of as well as a catalyst for genuine community.