Tea’s new release “Grand Cru” is an electro-pop album with many influences, jazz, lounge and soul, and includes legendary keyboardist and “the godfather of Acid Jazz,” special guest Brian Auger.
After producing Auger’s recent solo album “Language of the Heart,” Tea has continued the collaboration.
“Brian has been a big inspiration in the development of the songs of the new album, the color and energy…his sound is a signature and we think it fits well in Tea’s world.”
The 11-song release features Sabrina Williams, a soul singer and poet in Los Angeles and Inès Murer, an Austrian-Belgian singer/songwriter living in France.
Tea is all about groove and atmosphere, a mix of dreams and travels, a multi-cultural crossroad.
Tea’s second album is “Dreams.” Their first release is “Voyages du Jour.”
Guitarist Franck Balloffet, from Lyon, France, and Southern California drummer/keyboardist Phil Bunch first met as members of Los Angeles’ premier African band, Bateke Beat, featuring multi-instrumentalist Fidel Bateke, formerly of Fela Kuti’s ensemble from Nigeria. The group was the house band at the legendary L.A. club Flaming Colossus, as well as Malibu’s Adobe.
In the early ‘90s F&P departed Bateke Beat to lead the soul-afrobeat Orchestra Shegemo and Savwa, which included saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and vocalist Sharlotte Gibson, for years a singer with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan. They emerged as the house band at infamous L.A. venues Po Na Na Souk and Bokaos.