Sam Burckhardt / Fly Over

"Fly Over" is a jump blues, jazz and swing CD by Chicago tenor saxophonist, Sam Burckhardt. Sam and I co-produced the album, and for the recording we put together an all-star lineup of Chicago heavy-hitters including organist and pianist Pete Benson, bassist Beau Sample, and drummer Alex Hall. "Fly Over" was recorded in the studio with no overdubs, with a great live sound captured by the expert engineering of Alex Hall at Reliable Recorders / Hi-Style Studio. The album is a mix of classic blues and jazz standards, with a few original compositions co-written by me and Sam. "Fly Over" was released on  Sam Burckhardt's label, Airway Records in 2015 (Airway is Sunnyland Slim's old record label; Sam played with Sunnyland for twenty years and is carrying on the name as a tribute to the legendary Chicago blues pianist). "Fly Over" is available for download at most digital outlets, and the CD can be purchased at

Sam Burckhardt, tenor sax and vocals
Joel Paterson, guitar
Pete Benson, Hammond B-3 organ and piano
Beau Sample, bass
Alex Hall, drums

photography and album design by Joel Paterson

photography and album design by Joel Paterson

Fly Over liner notes written by Sam Burckhardt:

One of the privileges of being a musician is that you get to play, work, and record with your friends. For this latest CD, I collaborated with Chicago jazz and blues guitarist Joel Paterson. We started working together a few years back and we share a love for blues, jazz, and everything in between. On hand for the session where his rhythm section of
Beau Sample on bass and Alex Hall on drums, as well as Pete Benson on piano and Hammond organ. Pete is an old friend and is featured as pianist of the nonet recordings on “A Walk In Time” (AR4760).

Once Joel and I began to get more specific about what to record, we came up with a list of tunes. We started by writing three originals. The “Early Bird Blues” goes back to the type of tune Sunnyland Slim with whom I worked for two decades would have played early in his career. “Fly Over” and “Bird Watching” pay tribute to the first Hammond organ combos.

From this era stems “Illinois Goes To Chicago” aka “Doggin’ With Doggett,” written by Bill Doggett and featuring Illinois Jacquet on tenor sax. “Rock The House” is a raucous number by guitarist Tiny Grimes, reminiscent of my days with the Mighty Blue Kings. “Blue And Sentimental” comes from the County Basie book, while “Solitude” and “Just Squeeze Me” are Duke Ellington standards. It was fun playing the latter two big band tunes with a small combo and bring out more intimate flavors. “Spring’s Swing,” written by Vivian Hamilton, the wife of Ellington clarinetist and saxophonist Jimmy Hamilton, was on an LP called “Jam Session in Swingville” that my music teacher Chester Gill introduced me to when I was in my teens. We changed the beat and made it a feature for everyone in the band.

And lastly to the two vocals tunes: “Route 66” I first heard sung by Freddy Below, the drummer of the famous Aces. To me it represents the joy of traveling through this vast country. “In The Evening”, a composition Sunnyland Slim would sing on many occasions, and a classic blues written by Leroy Carr.

We hope that the fun and joy we felt in making this recording will rub off on you.