Tales from the Underground Bazaar

Bazaar album coverAfter so many albums of instrumental music, I wanted to return to working with the voice. The result is Tales from the Underground Bazaar: thirteen unusual but true songs that reveal the strangeness of the world. I call them my “talking songs”—inspired by Laurie Anderson, they’re quirky but incisive. Sometimes comical, sometimes a bit darker, but always with the undercurrent of the absurd. With titles like “Parallel Universe,” “Shopping for God,” “Blah Blah Blog,” “The Year I Became a Martian,” and “The Sound of One Hand Clapping,” you can get the picture. Continue reading →

How to build a snowman

snowmanIt’s winter—let’s build a snowman! There are two basic methods: the rolled snowman and the packed snowman. The rolled snowman produces nicely rounded balls for a classic look. The packed snowman requires more sculpting to ensure an even shape. Snow must pack well and stick together—not icy and not powdery. If the temperature stays sufficiently cold, the snowman should last several days. Below are step-by-step instructions, along with a video to provide the energy and motivation to get you going. Continue reading →

Holiday Music Reimagined: 10 Shades of Christmas

10 Shades of ChristmasI just released a holiday album, 10 Shades of Christmas, that offers new interpretations (“compelling” is the words used in the press release) of some of the world’s favorite Christmas carols. I thought it would be fun to reinvent carols by experimenting with their musical structure, harmony and rhythm. I was inspired by Tori Amos’ inventive holiday album Midwinter Graces, in which she intertwines traditional melodies with new material; by Vince Guaraldi’s classic A Charlie Brown Christmas; and by my collaborative effort with Andre Akinyele back in 2005, Gemini Soul’s A Cyber-Jazz Holiday. On that album, we gave a jazz twist to some standards, and the jazz influence is evident on 10 Shades of Christmas. Continue reading →

“Skin Deep” delivers electrifying jazz

skindeep-coverIt’s here. A new album to start off the new year, this time going back to my Gemini Soul roots with a mix of funk, fusion, smooth and cool jazz. Produced by bassist and former bandmate Andre Akinyele, the music reflects influences from such artists as Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Ramsey Lewis, and Vince Guaraldi. The following video interview introduces the music, which is now available from iTunes, CD Baby, and other online retailers. Continue reading →