As a musician, Eric Darius travels 300 days out of the year.
It’s certainly changed since the pandemic.
“It’s never been harder,” he says of traveling. “I’m always on the go and I have to stick to a schedule. These days, the schedule is always changing because flights are canceled and such.”
Despite the troubles, Darius takes it all in stride.
The saxophone player is getting ready to release his eight album called “Unleashed,” on Aug. 12.
The album is being released on his SagiDarius record label.
“It’s nice to be the boss and be able to put together an album on my own time,” he says. “There’s a freedom to the whole process.”
Darius will perform at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater on Saturday, Aug. 6, as part of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s summer series.
Darius has already released the single, “That’s My Jam,” which is in the top 10 on iTunes.
He began working on “Unleashed” over a year ago, though the concept for the project began nearly three years ago.
“I collaborated with Phillip Lassiter, who is based in the Netherlands,” he says. “This is the first time I’ve ever written and collaborated with someone over Zoom. The sounds that we created and the direction that we went with this album is amazing. It’s a reflection of me and where I’m at right now in music.”
This means that there are hints of jazz, rhythm and blues, and Afro-Caribbean roots.
When it came to recording, Darius wanted to get the live feel for the music and got all the musicians together to record in the same room.
“I wanted a really raw, organic sound,” he says. “I’m known for my live energy. I wanted to record in person because it’s a throwback to how musicians used to record. Because technology has made it so easy, there aren’t many musicians like me who record live with other musicians. I wanted to capture the magic and the energy.”
Because Darius is his own boss at the label, there’s not only a lot of anticipation behind the album, there’s a lot of work.
“Marking and getting shows planned,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve had my hands full getting everything prepped for this project. I’m pumped to be out on the road again.”
Darius says at the Albuquerque show, he will have “Unleashed” available to purchase, a week before it’s ready for the world.