HOT NEW ALBUM!
Vibe Records, founded in
recently stepped up its game by releasing its newest and hottest album
yet, titled ¡Mucho Mas! Jazz Funk Hip
HoPoetry. Song tracks have trace elements of Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Brand New Heavies,
Public Enemy, Gil Scott-Heron, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, James Brown, Ohio Players,
Tower of Power, and Carlos Santana. And these thought-provoking songs
create a festive mood that uplifts listeners as they inspire them to dance,
reflect, and take action to affect personal and social change.
This is the fourth in a
series of CDs, following the highly acclaimed
Paradise Presents Jazz
Funk Hip HoPoetry, Jazz Funk Hip HoPoetry—Phaze 2,
and Give It All U Got!
The title of this 14-track project hints that many of these original songs
along with fusion of
Jazz Funk, R&B, Conscious Hip Hop,
and Spoken Word. Jazz Funk Hip HoPoetry has developed immensely as
a new genre of music since its inception when producer
Bill Jackson recruited
Bay Area poet laureate/ slam poetry icon/
spoken word artist
to collaborate. Paradise
coined the name of this music.
A diverse line up of topflight
Greater San Francisco Bay Area
vocalists, musicians, conscious hip hop and spoken word artists were
recruited to contribute their musical gifts to this album. They came
from Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley,
Richmond, Novato, San
Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Danville, San Jose,
with their creative juices overflowing with talent.
The album’s opening track, titled
“Give It All U Got!” is a brand new
version of this trail blazing cut that thrills listeners with its dazzling mix of Afro-Cuban/ Latin
Jazz, R&B, Funk, Conscious Hip Hop, and Spoken Word.
Brooklyn, New York
Briani Savage (of Puerto Rican/
African American/ Jewish ethnicity, now a Bay Area resident) leads a dynamic
call and response opening to this upbeat song, inspiring people to live life
to the max. Lovely and talented vocalists
April Dawn, Denice Carrasco,
and Yolanda Davis
pave the way for lead vocalist Bill
to take this groove to new heights, while master percussionist
Bill Norwood (who in recent years has played drums with Robin Duhe, former bass player with Frankie Beverly and Maze) is the driving force. Red hot
Salvadorian MC Kalizay’s
exotic hip hop flow in both
inspires fans to reach their dreams. Speaking to the Latino community, she
“my brothers for breakin’ the cycle of
spoken word legend Paradise
keeps the party going celebrating diversity with his lofty visions a
multi-ethnic “cultural world fair in
Oakland,” a “United
States of Africa,” and
as a common language to be a key to economic growth for Black people
worldwide of the African Diaspora.
Master trumpeter John Halbleib
(who’s played with the likes of Pete
Escovedo, Sheila E., Larry Graham, Aaron Neville,
and Roberta Flack)
ignites fans with a raw solo and anchors the brass throughout the song while
Ben Ball, whose saxophone brilliance can also be
heard, rocks near the end with his exhilarating piano solo.
Ben Ball has performed with jazz immortal Donald Byrd, Bay Area jazz luminaries Ed Kelly, Charles Hamilton, Bill Bell, and a New York City-based African funk band called
Ibrahim World Beat.
The second track,
takes you to a dark place of addiction in the sinister underworld of
hardcore drinking, drugging, pornography, prostitution, and gambling.
Background vocals by singers Brianii Savage, April Dawn, Denice Carrasco,
and Yolanda Davis
kick it off with a chorus steeped in soul followed by the dreamy chant “I
wanna feel goooood.” Then without being overly preachy or moralistic, Bay
Area hip hop star D Labrie
the “EOG” (East Oakland’s Greatest)
takes charge and runs it down, telling a story about self-destructive
situations before seeing the light and finding peace of mind in recovery
from addictions. D Labrie,
also known in Bay Area show biz as “Mr.
Network,” is a representative
of Hip Hop Congress,
a non-profit organization very influential with young people.
is featured on the third track with her sultry
“Mucha Alegria,” a jam that takes
you on a mellow ride describing fun times in
She lures listeners and conveys subtle messages in
about honesty and personal integrity in
relationships, assuring that “I never lie to my sisters or the opposite
sex.” This song also pays a brief tribute to
heroes such as farm labor leaders
Delores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, and
University Heisman Trophy
winner/ former star
Oakland Raider Super Bowl MVP quarterback Jim
The gifted, charming Chayla
Gibson-Smith sets the tone for this
mellow groove with her soothing vocals in the opening.
Kalizay and up and coming pop
singer Xavier Toscano
render sizzling hot romantic monologues in
before trumpet pro
(a Cal State East Bay-trained music educator) tops it off with a captivating
Latin-style part muted and part un-muted trumpet solo at the end. The album
includes two versions of this song: an extended version and a radio edit
The classy Latin Jazz
cut, and only instrumental on the album, titled
“Afro-Cuban Sax Brothers”
features gifted tenor saxophonist
and master musician
playing brilliant solos on alto sax, piano, and soprano sax respectively.
raises the excitement with a rich tenor sax solo, followed by his
spellbinding tenor sax voice over the backdrop of vibrant background horns.
Producer Bill Jackson
composed this piece as a tribute to saxophone players
Ben Ball, Dave Ellis
(who’ve known each other since elementary school in Berkeley), and
(also affectionately called
originally from Denver, Colorado), who are all former classmates and
graduates of the prestigious
Berklee College of Music in
Distinguished percussionist Bill
Norwood once again assumes the role
of the driving force behind this piece, which is reminiscent of many classic
Latin Jazz tracks using strings and background horns. Not only is this song
is great for listening, but it also makes you want to get up out of your
seat and dance.
Get ready to rock with veteran classic soul vocalist
leading a cadre of many artists in a call to action on
“Uncle Sam’s Goin’
Over Ben Ball’s
commanding alto saxophone voice, the hard-driving beat, blues/ rock-style
guitar and bass, this social protest song (written in 2011 during the peak
of the Occupy Movement) reveals snippets of our challenging U.S. economy,
erosion of the middle class, a society of "haves" and "have nots"
growing apart, with increasing gentrification in major cities and
slight economic gains in 2014 primarily benefiting the rich. Like “Mucha
this song also has an extended version and a radio
edit version (the fifth track).
In the extended version (the final track), the tension lightens as a series of brief
humorous monologues by
Bill Jackson, the late distinctive
Dave McClellan add comic relief.
spoken word legend
Paradise shares some pearls of
wisdom and a provocative Afro-Centric message of hope, healing, and
inspiration at the end, advising African Americans (who now have a higher
poverty rate than during
President Johnson's "War on Poverty"
in the 1960s, according to USA Weekend
magazine) to "Occupy Black Wall Street!" The collective voices of
Rufus Wonder, Brianii Savage, Bill Jackson, Denise Carrasco, Rick Alexander,
April Dawn, Dave McClellan, Yolanda Davis
along with masterful solos by trumpet boss
Cayce Canahan, alto saxophone boss
spoken word make this track a classic.
Elegant songstress extraordinaire
Shavone Pickett, premiere
hip hop diva Keldamuzik,
and virtuoso alto and soprano sax man
are featured on “Bold and Beautiful,”
a tribute to strong and beautiful women in general and strong and beautiful
black women in particular. The late
Tina Floyd sets the stage for this
piece with her engaging background vocals. This album showcases a new
version of this original song, which represents a model for fusing
and Conscious Hip Hop. Lyrics were written
by Shavone Pickett
the music composed by Bill Jackson,
and Bill Norwood
Other outstanding tracks on this album include spoken word pieces (the
“Connections” by spoken word artist/ vocalist
(friend, high school and college classmate of
who plays tenor sax on this one),
“Cocoa Venus” and
“Ain’t Yo’ Mama Black”
“Let’s Take a Ride”
spoken word/ conscious hip hop artist
Big Dan, “Social Emergency”
by gifted Chicana spoken word artist
Alejandra Mojica, and
featuring vocalist Rufus Wonder,
hip hop artists
with Chayla Gibson-Smith
and Rick Alexander
adding humorous monologues in the mix. This song is a musical parody about
the life of an aging player.
The earlier mentioned
“Let’s Take a
Ride” represents dynamic spoken
word at its best and is partially an autobiographical piece about the early troubled life of
living in the barrios and ghettos of
before turning his life around to graduate from the distinguished
University of California at Berkeley.
Special recognition goes to professional recording studio engineer
“Smilin’ James” Heyser,
who did a monumental job of recording, mixing, and mastering the tracks.
Special commendation also goes to talented graphic artists
Veronica Leon and
Earl Bickham, Jr.,
who designed the artwork for the album.
For more information about Rufus
Ben Ball, click here on the
page. For more information about
click here on the
page. For more information about
Shavone Pickett and
click here on the