Unit 7 is a New York City based jazz septet (sometimes a sextet or quintet depending on venue size or player availability). In the mid 1990’s composer/drummer Tobias Gebb formed the group Unit 7 with his childhood friend and composer Toby Wine. The group was formed to give voice to their love of multiple horns and the resulting voicing/harmonic possibilities, as well as to continue on with the tradition set by composers like Charles Mingus, and Wayne Shorter as well as bands like Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. They played around New York City at various jazz clubs including the infamous club ‘Birdland’. The band stopped working together in the late 1990’s and a decade later Tobias decided to bring back the sound.
In 2009 the band was reformed with some of the hottest jazz musicians in New York City. These musicians include Joel Frahm, Ron Blake, Mark Gross, Joe Magnarelli, Ugonna Okegwo, Stacy Dillard, Neal Miner and Eldad Zvulun among others. The group recorded a collection of compositions and arrangements by Tobias Gebb called ‘Tobias Gebb and Unit 7 – Free At Last’. The CD includes an extra special guest and former member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Bobby Watson. The record has a variety of styles and tempos ranging from blistering up tempo hard bop to south of the border calypso; from bossa nova to a version of the classic rock song ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ written by Lennon/McCartney and arranged for quintet plus citar(featuring guest citar player Neel Murgai).
The debut CD by Unit 7 ‘Free At Last’, climbed into the Top 10 on the national ‘Jazz Week’ charts. Tobias Gebb was featured on America’s top jazz station WBGO with Gary Walker. The cd has gained many rave reviews:
“…nothing short of spectacular” - All About Jazz
“Free At Last is no ordinary jazz outing but then Tobias Gebb is no ordinary jazz drummer and this audacious musical statement is more than proof positive”. – Edward Blanco
“Tobias Gebb & Unit 7’s Free at Last is a winner”. – Jazz Wax