MP3 Josh Levinson Sextet - Chauncey Street
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (77:51) !
Related styles: Jazz: Hard Bop, Jazz: Latin Jazz, Type: Improvisational
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The title song, "Chauncey Street," was written in the 1990's. My first band was a funk band called "The Whole Damn Family," led by Kevin Williams. I had to get off at the Chauncey St. station on the J train for our rehearsals. It wasnât the safe neighborhood it is now. I made Kevin meet me at the station, and I wouldnât go unless he was there. This song conjures up that time for me -- the excitement and energy of a neighborhood that was both scary and alluring.
"âFâ" It: Well, you know what that saying is. Sometimes in life you have to just go for it. It's a long tune, with several different feels, from funk to straight ahead and back.
"Wired" is a Latin jazz tune. It has a concise head and a wonderful groove.
"Without Struggle" is one of my favorites. The title alludes to the Frederick Douglas saying, "Without a struggle can be no progress." This music is meant to reflect the internal struggles we have and the changes we can make when we overcome those struggles. Brian Fishler takes a wonderful solo on the entire structure of the tune. âRain" is a ballad that has a surprise ending that seems to come out of nowhere. Parts of the tune evoke the feeling that rains gives youâserene and mysterious.
"Heat" is just that: hot. Itâs funky, and it swings. Great solos by all, and wonderful playing by the bass player, Peter Brendler.
"10, 9, 8, 7â¦" was influenced by Sam Jonesâs tune "Del Sasser," which has become a standard in the bebop repertoire. I love its intricate design, great rhythm section hits, and slick melody with assertive punctuation throughout. The title is meant to connote a musical explosion of sorts.
"Avishai" is written in honor of bassist Avishai Cohen. I love the freedom"My Blues" is unusual in that it has a 7/4 figure to open the tune, but it transitions quickly into straight-ahead swing in 4/4 time.
"For Freddie" was composed in honor of Freddie Hubbard, whom I revere. I listen to him all the time. I was going for the more advanced, modal harmonies Freddie worked with later in his career.
The final tune is called "180 Degrees." Change is a huge theme in my life and in my work. Cultivating the ability to effect change on oneself and others through the power of music is, I believe, my lifeâs calling.
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