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From the Inside Out

40 Year Old Bitches, New MilesTones & Others, Too

By Published: November 28, 2010
Suspecting that this could be just the beginning of their project, Mazumdar and Sebag released these tracks for DJs, remixers and producers in these countries to revision and remix according to their own unique global perspectives, and then turned the remixes over to producer Joshua Jacobson, who subsequently assembled them into A New Day—Laya Project Remixed. "Remixes, especially for Laya Project, allow the message of Laya and the sound of the villages in these six countries to reach new audiences and age groups," Jacobs explains. "This album will reach the dance floor, trance festivals, lounges, and even TV commercials and feature films, which will greatly expand awareness of The Laya Project and the people affected by the 2004 tsunami."

A New Day truly presents the sound and vision of a global music and beat. On disc one, a children's chorus singing praise to the "Glorious Sun," a Myanmar traditional that MC Yogi toasts Jamaica-style, is powerfully affecting in the way that only the voices of innocent children can be. Doubled strings and vocals slide up and down the Eastern scale of "Hai La Sa" cool and liquid, like refreshing water. For "Sunrise in Injumbakam," the music seems to rise and fall, ebbing and flowing like waves of heat and light radiating from the dawning sun.

Disc two of this Project continues to grow further out and yet deeper within. The soft jungle funk of "Sunset in Akkari" coolly complements the first disc's "Sunrise." Dub Gabriel layers looped congas, drums, and hand cymbals into the ancient/modern sounding rhythm track that drives "Tapatam." Two different takes on the traditional Indian Sufi chant "Ya Allah" move like spiritual panthers on big fat, padded beats (one version even gets tangled in thick Jamaican dub), vocals swirling together with strings to scorch your speakers, musical sandstorms in stereo.

A New Day is mostly—but not entirely—electronic alchemy. MIDIval PunditZ animate "Katala Talu" from its core pulse of acoustic guitar (or sitar) and human voice, and the traditional Indian melody "Going to Seville" sounds even more haunting and eternal when rendered on violin, and borne upward by shimmering harmony strings.

"'Laya' is a really resonant and rich Sanskrit word," Mazumdar says. "Along with many other things, it can mean fusion, union and embrace, all elements that echo in these remixes. It's the essence of what we and the remixers hope for."

Organissimo

Alive & Kickin'

Big O Records

2010

The title of Organissimo's first live recording, Alive & Kickin', is a great description of how a guitar/organ trio live record should sound. Just about everything on this set comes homegrown by this Michigan trio: organ player Jim Alfredson met guitarist Joe Gloss in a Michigan State University (MSU) jazz class; the duo eventually became a trio completed by drummer Randy Marsh, whose experience playing for organists Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith
1925 - 2005
organ, Hammond B3
and Shirley Scott
Shirley Scott
Shirley Scott
1934 - 2002
organ, Hammond B3
proved invaluable to the band's soulful yet freestyle jamming sound.

Most of Alive & Kickin' was recorded at MSU, with two additional tracks recorded at one of Organissimo's favorite nightspots in Grand Rapids, MI. Even so, music from Louisiana—more specifically, from New Orleans—plays a prominent part in the opening "Stomp Yo' Feets," which combines with the subsequent "Clap Yo' Hands" to create complementary party jams of sophisticatedly syncopated Crescent City organ funk.

"Clap Yo' Hands" also serves to bridge the tail-whipping trilogy that closes this this set. "Jimmy Smith Goes to Washington" kicks it off: Alfredson's organ sound testifies to the power of gospel truth, and then paints this groove in bright splashes and waves of color using every shade in his pallet and every corner of his canvas; Gloss' guitar bridges that funky gap between soul and bebop, and Marsh tumbles through his own unaccompanied breaks. In "Clap Yo' Hands," Marsh pounds out a torrid go-go beat behind the organ break to further drive the trio to their final soul-jazz destination, "Grooveadelphia."

"Grooveadelphia," the title track of their 2008 release which spent several weeks atop the CMJ Top 40 jazz chart—and most likely titled to honor Smith, Scott, and other famous organ players from Philadelphia—proves to be one funky town. Alfredson finally turns out the lights by soloing with one hand while holding one long, screaming harmony chord with the other, that joyous sound that only organ players can howl.


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