The combination of the Bandcamp app and the desire to find 21st century jazz has led me to some remarkable places. There have been many “happy accidents,” even though Im starting to think that phrase no longer applies.
My last post was centered around the music I found while looking for another artist I fell asleep “discovering” on Bandcamp. Since I failed to put his album in my wishlist, and because I went two days between uses of the app, his album disappeared. Well, I am happy to report that I found him again.
His name is Mark Lettieri, and he’s a remarkable young guitarist. I was drawn to his sound almost immediately. Coincidentally, I had already seen this young man perform with Snarky Puppy, one of my current favorites in music. I didn’t make the connection with this tune, because I was too busy thinking about how it sounded like Prince and Bill Bruford had written a song together. It’s groovy and funky, with some wonderful off-beat moments as well. I have been playing the living daylights out of this track, and it’s not gonna get old any time soon.
I “discovered” Hambone Relay several months ago, during my search for what I like to call “Funky-Butt” jazz. Sometimes I want my jazz to merely elicit a cool head-nod. Other times I want that head nod to have a little “stank” on it. This usually comes from a deep rhythmic pocket, a Hammond B-3 organ, and a serious “whack!” from the snare drum on the 2 and the 4. And it doesn’t hurt to have a surprise element here and there. These guys have it all figured out.
I got to Hambone Relay because I couldn’t get enough of the sound of drummer Stanton Moore (who is NOT in Hambone Relay). He is the first person I think of when I want that “Funky-Butt” sound. It’s jazz. It’s soul. It’s James Brown. It’s New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, and God-knows where else all rolled in to one. Moore has created the ultimate 70s groove for the 21st century.
I was introduced to Kneebody by way of my love for Snarky Puppy. (Is anyone else here starting to sense a pattern?) When I saw a picture of the band, I had a feeling they would play something I liked. It took about four notes to confirm that feeling.
Guitarist Jordan Klemons is another unexpected — but very welcome — guest to my new jazz party. His new album, This City, is pushing jazz to new places, while still respecting its roots. The music has the feel of a soundtrack looking for a film. But it stands just fine on its own.
For every new musical discovery I make, there are at least three more demanding my attention. For all my ranting and raving about “old school” discoveries of music, the Internet and I may have finally found a way to peacefully co-exist. It is truly alarming to see and hear just how much music awaits your discovery in cyberspace. I can’t promise that I’ll get to everything on my wish list. I can promise to share without you everything I find exciting about that new music on this page.