Over the last few days, I began to take stock of how I *think* I want this project to unfold. In the last post, I mentioned it was to be a 10 track project but it has since grown two more tracks. I plan on stunting any further growth…, LOL.
Right now, I plan on inviting 24 other artists to participate on this project, whether they all do remains too early to be seen, but the invite email is going out this weekend. Of the 24, I have four already committed, so that’s good, so now starts the real groundwork: logistics, determining how much remote collaboration will be needed, musician assignments to each song, etc. This should prove interesting (one drummer I really would like to have on the project will only play an acoustic set – which I don’t have in my studio), but better to nail down this now verses later. Stay tuned.
::: oceans of rhythm:::
Hope everyone is doing well. It’s been a minute since I’ve done any blogging, but I’m back to continue the chronological process started on my Halcyon Sky EP project and continue with my next major project, Soulosophy.
Soulosophy will be a smooth contemporary jazz project. I use the term “smooth contemporary jazz” to make an attempt to distinguish and separate it from what the industry currently presents as “smooth jazz”. Not to rant, but the popular genre name is truly a misnomer. I’ve had countless discussions over the years on the true (industry) name is: New Adult Contemporary. It’s a much more accurate name to use, considering what artists are fill the radio playlists and smooth jazz fests across the country, but using that name to sell the genre is obviously too cumbersome and wouldn’t “sell” (I’m sure you agree).
The name “Soulosophy” actual comes from an Instagram user that I follow. The name fits the concept of tunes I hope to release. I’m already excited about the guests who have graciously decided to become part of the project (more about who they are in future posts), because of their stellar musical gifts, so stayed tune for more on that.
Currently, Soulosophy will be a 10-track instrumental project comprised of new tunes and not-so-new. Most of them right now are in their infancy stages, but I’m pleased to have one very talented smooth jazz keyboardist already submitting tunes for the project for me to check out. I’m excited about the collaboration with this artist and am equally pleased to say that you will hear me on the title track of a CD he is currently working on for release (I believe this is his fifth). There are a number of other musicians I plan on inviting to participate as well.
I’m sitting in Starbucks now and it’s going on 7:30, time to head to homebase.
Have a good morning/afternoon/evening/night.
::: oceans of rhythm:::
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three heavyweights in the genres of contemporary jazz, smooth jazz, and R&B. While each genre isn’t solely associated one to each musician, they all shine in those areas (their expansive musical careers attribute to that).
Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, and Everette Harp make up the band, Jazz Funk Soul. They released their self-titled CD on 24 June 2014 and it is superb. Each track not only brings the individual talents of each musician, but collectively creates an exciting blend of contemporary and smooth jazz elements. The session musicians that join them are heavy weights in their own right and are known as powerhouses in the NYC area.
Ten tracks make up this stellar release, with the current single being “Serious Business”
Speed of Light
We Were There
While I already have a few favorites on this tracklist, I encourage your take a listen for yourself, I’m sure you’ll gain a few if these genres are favorites of yours.
That said, take a listen to (stream or download) the interview below. I hope that you enjoy it – there’s a few audio issues outside of my control but…. 🙂 . For tour dates, check out the Shanachie Records Tour Schedule on their website, and for more on Jazz Funk Soul.
::: oceans of rhythm :::
Good evening readers. It’s Friday night, a little after 10pm and I’m finally settled down in the studio after a LONG work week. Hope this blog post finds you well. Stefon Harris and Blackout is a group of young, very talented jazz musicians that have been nominated in Category 44 – Best Contemporary Jazz Album, for their release, Urbanus. As I listen to the CD in the background, I think of the category they’re nominated for, and the category keyword that remains most descriptive is the adjective contemporary. Take a listen to Stefon discuss the essence of Urbanus, the second CD as the group, Blackout
Stefon Harris, is what is known in the jazz genre as a “young lion”, due to, of course, his age in comparison to the age of legendary jazz musicians who have achieved what he is doing, but at a later age. I first discovered Stefon by his second CD, Black Action Figure, which was released in 1999 on Blue Note Records. I’ve always liked the vibes (Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, etc), and to hear a fresh new, and young vibraphonist on the scene was akin to cool water and I’ve been a fan ever since. Fast forward to the more recent recordings from the group, Blackout, He is associated with the subgenres hard bop, post bop and progressive jazz, but infuses comtemporary stylings into his music. He’s quoted in the December 2009 issue of Ebony Magazine as saying “There is a misunderstanding of what jazz is…jazz is incredibly pliable..our music is about the here and now; it is not about the past. People think we’re mixing jazz and hip-hop, but I think that this is what jazz is now. My music is indicative of my generation… and old school artists and fans should embrace all jazz forms”.
I, especially as a musician, agree full circle with that. I’m definitely liking this release, and see Stefon Harris as being on of the primary vibraphonists on the jazz scene for years to come.
Stefon Harris & Blackout
Stefon Harris – Vibes/Composer
Marc Cary – Keys
Ben Williams – Bass
Terreon Gully – Drums
Casey Benjamin – Alto sax
On the web:
Facebook Fan Page
Ben Williams (bassist) – Twitter
Stefon Harris discusses Blackout
NPR Favorite Sessions: Stefon Harris and Blackout at WBGO-FM