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PopMatters contributor Will Layman had more than a few nice things to write about Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1 in his latest article titled, “What’s So Smooth About the New Smooth Jazz?” The article also made positive remarks about Ben Williams‘s Coming Of Age album, Donny McCaslin‘s This Side os Sunrise as well as Kendrick Scott‘s upcoming Blue Note debut, We Are The Drum. Layman’s PopMatters article broke down SS Vol. 1‘s focal points:

Supreme Sonacy comes at listeners from at least four angles. More traditional jazz fans should hear trumpeters Keyon Harrold and Maurice Brown and alto sax player Jaleel Shaw dig into Lee Morgan’s classic “The Procrastinator” but in a new triple meter arrangement by bassist Ben Williams that swings as hard (harder?) as the original’s 4/4. Afraid of “jazz”? This album has the above-mentioned entry points through Janet Jackson and soul. Do you want a taste of the classic(al)? Check out Terry Slingbaum’s “Water Games”, based on Ravel’s “Jeux D’eau” and featuring a seven-piece string section as well as Casey Benjamin (of Robert Glasper’s band) and Troy Roberts (a sterling Australian up-and-comer) on saxophones.

The fourth angle is hip-hop, and not just in the way that the funk poly-rhthyms of so many tunes (including the one based on Ravel) derive from hip-hop’s distinctive patterns. The whole of Supreme Sonacy is set up like a classic ‘80s or ‘90s album, with remix artist Raydar Ellis introducing the tunes with a vocal “skit” and then following most tunes with a shorter remix version that abstracts the original into a fresh piece of sonic art. We even get a “good night” ending track in which one of the proprietor’s from Wally’s Cafe, a jazz club in Boston where many of these musicians (who studied at Berklee) cut their teeth, I assume.

Read the rest of the article via PopMatters. Stay tuned for the latest news about Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1 and more original content coming your way.

Purchase Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1 on iTunes & Amazon.


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