Title - 'Carmanology'
Artist - The Allen Carman Project
Thanks to the clever title of the debut album by rapidly-burgeoning urban-contemporary jazz supergroup The Allen Carman Project, we now have a phrase that perfectly captures a unique and inspiring phenomenon.
Carmanology is what happens when a lifelong musician – in this case, bassist Allen Carman – hooks up with masters of his chosen genre, rekindles his long set-aside dreams and creates an extraordinary recording chock-full of innovative sounds, infectious melodies, explosive grooves and irresistible radio hits.
More than the realization of the vision of a single artist, The Allen Carman Project is a fresh collective featuring a host of contemporary jazz greats, each contributing a distinct musical perspective.
With a rhythmic and melodic foundation laid by Carman, Grammy-nominated keyboardist Philippe Saisse, percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and drummer Luis Alicea (all celebrated veterans of fusion legend Al Di Meola’s band), Carmanology fast becomes an expansive playground for fun.
Inclusive of freewheeling creative contributions by saxophonist Andy Snitzer, violinist Evan Garr (also from the Di Meola fold), guitarist Marc Antoine, trumpeter Rick Braun and Grammy-winning guitar legend Nile Rodgers, this debut album (out April 5th, 2019) is truly as good as it gets within their chosen musical genre.
1. 'Groove Salad'
4. 'State of Mine'
5. 'Morning After'
7. 'El Fanfaron'
A recording project that to date has placed three singles on the Billboard chart, the album opens with the free flowing, summery warm breeze of 'Groove Salad' and backs that seamlessly with both the mood-setting keyboard and slap bass guitar funk of 'Hearsay' and the Latin-jazz flow of 'Carisma'
Next Grammy-winning guitar legend Nile Rodgers ignites 'State of Mine,' the explosive new single from the album and that's followed by the purposely-muted, yet stand alone freefall lead trumpet from Rick Braun on 'Morning After.'
It's a track that comes more alive as it rolls out and, for my money, is the best cut on the album. Add to that some wondrous and precisely contoured saxophone the track is the perfect midway point for the album.
Next up is the funky groove of the title track, 'Carmanology' which in turn is backed by a rather expansive soundscape venture entitled 'El Fanfaron.' Featuring the expertly produced horns of Don Harris and Bill Harris, that then gives way to the soaring majesty of 'Bodega.'
That track, inclusive of Evan Garr's scintillating electric violin one-man-show, is yet another reason why this debut is as highly regarded within the business as it clearly is.
The album then rounds out with the effervescently intriguing 'River,' but if you are anything like me, you'll hit Play and relive this magnificent album all over again.
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