Dr. Will Campbell, professor of saxophone and director of the UNC Charlotte jazz studies program, is a featured performer on the album, New Songs for the 20th Century. The album, released in June, is by the musician, songwriter, and producer Chris Stamey, best known as a founder of the rock group, The dBs.
Inspired by the "American songbook" of composers like Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin, New Songs for the 20th Century features 26 original tracks by Stamey, performed by a mix of national and regional jazz, pop, and Americana musicians, including Branford Marsalis, Nnenna Freelon, Caitlyn Cary, and Don Dixon, backed by the ModRec Orchestra, named for Stamey's Chapel Hill-based recording studio, Modern Recording.
The album has received stellar reviews from multiple major music outlets, including Jazz Weekly, Downbeat, All Music, and Audiophile. Campbell is a featured soloist on the song "Occasional Shivers," with vocalist Nnenna Freelon, and plays alto and soprano sax throughout the album. "The core band is anchored by saxophonist Will Campbell, a veteran of Harry Connick, Jr.'s orchestra and director of the jazz department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte," writes Geoffrey Himes in Downbeat.