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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Jazz

Chris & The Syotos B Washburne

Low Ridin

Chris & The Syotos B Washburne Low Ridin
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Low Ridin', the sixth release by The SYOTOS Band, and our debut recording for ZOHO, comes as we celebrate our 23rd year together! After all these years of late night grooving, it was time to get back to our musical roots. Growing up in rural Ohio not far from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the selections on this recording comprise the music of my folk and the soundtrack of my youth. Acid Mambo is what we call this new direction! Afro-Latin jazz on a psychedelic trip! Zeppelin, the Doors, Neil Young, Hendrix, and Lou Reed meet Tito Puente, Machito, and Eddie Palmieri! Embracing the fire, erudition, and activism of SYOTOS’s well-seasoned band sound, honed over 20 years with the longest running weekly Latin jazz gig in New York City, “Low Ridin’” covers new territory musically and sonically, pushing at the boundaries of the Afro-Latin jazz genre, so much so that we needed to call this music something new. Historically, jazz has turned to the popular music of the day for its repertoire, but the rock music of the late 1960s and 1970s has been mostly overlooked. This is remarkable considering how finely constructed and beautifully poetic the songs from this era are, undoubtedly on par with the music of the great American Song book a lá Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin. Jazz musicians rarely include these rock gems in their standard repertoire, and so “…it seems like we have got to have a change of scene.” Feelin' Alright, popularized in 1970 by the late soulful singer Joe Cocker, opens the recording with a raucous brass riff that stays true to the original groove. It is then superimposed onto a mambo beat, and we even include a nod to the Stephen Stills mantra…“stop children what’s that sound…'” It’s Acid Mambo! We then take a little trip with War’s 1975 funky cha cha classic Low Rider, inspired by West Coast urban Latino cultural practice of hydraulically “hot-rodding” classic cars, transforming the vehicles into spectacles of burnished chrome and resplendent steel, signifying a lifestyle that embraces cultural pride and freedom of self-expression. Right On! Now with fists in the air we gear into the greatest social activist theme of all time, when in 1973 Bob Marley professed "you can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time" in his anthemic Get Up, Stand Up. Here we feature an alchemic mix of reggae and Cuban son, spiced with a righteous attitude. In the lyrics, Marley conceives of heaven not in the afterlife, but right here and now on earth - something to seek out and fight for. Our bolero-cha version of Stairway to Heaven offers two different perspectives of the afterlife than Marley’s, mashing up contrasting perspectives of the promised land: Led Zeppelin’s 1971 epic narrative song and Duke Ellington’s 1968 sacred music hymn Heaven. -- Chris Washburne

TRACK LISTING:
1. FEELIN' ALRIGHT 4’19”
2. LOW RIDER 4’15”
3. GET UP, STAND UP 3’27”
4. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN/HEAVEN 4’46”
5. MANIC DEPRESSION 3’16”
6. OHIO 4’40”
7. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE 5’30”
8. BREAK ON THROUGH (TO THE OTHER SIDE) 3’23”
9. KASHMIR 3’43”
10. SUGAR MOUNTAIN 4’39” 1
1. SYOTOMON 4’33”
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