Cruise Control began to take shape in the winter of 2006. Three of the band members—Matt Leigh, Ryan Donohue, and Chris Fencl—having played together for two years in Rockhurst High School’s Senior Jazz Ensemble in Kansas City and in various other musical settings, entertained the possibility of forming a group to pursue musical interests in original compositions, and to provide an environment in which improvised playing might encourage the further development of the group. Needless to say, the band’s initial “jam sessions” slowly evolved into more structured practices. Incomplete and disconnected musical ideas grew into phrases and developed into full-length songs. The result was the gradual formation of the band’s distinctive style—jazz-fusion coupled with elements of progressive rock and smooth jazz—and the beginnings of the band’s musical production.
After finishing the semester at their respective colleges, Matt, Ryan, and Chris reformed the group in Summer of 2006 and also welcomed guitarist Shawn Strickland into its ranks. After spending the entire month of June writing material for their first CD, “City Life,” Cruise Control entered the studio in July to complete their debut album. After much anticipation, patience, and the occasional delay, “City Life” is finally available to the public.
With the addition of Charlie Fitzpatrick on keyboards, Cruise Control plans to promote their new album by playing several shows and festivals during the summer of 2007.