East Coast Connection originated in a modest house just across the Washington D.C. border in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Percussionist Reggie Harrod Noticed many of his peers were directionless upon graduation, and wanted to establish a creative outlet for the potentially at-risk-something to engage his recently emancipated classmates. In a home he shared with his parents, the Harrod residence became a de facto community center, where neighborhood kids, and the occasional commuters, began hanging out, immersing themselves in music. “It was like we lived together,” recalls saxophonist Earl Ross. Guitarist Jamel Shorter was plucked from a nearby yard, where he’d been riffing on Stylistics and Delfonics tunes to help cure the summertime blues. Neighbor Tommy Clayton was part of a package deal with bassist Raymond Powell, and although most connections would sing, Tony Turner would handle lead for the bands charter incarnation.