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MP3 Thousands Of One - HIP HOP/RAP: Alternative Hip Hop

"Simply Incredible." "positive...organic and involved" "recalling The Roots and Kweli" "deeply conscious"

10 MP3 Songs
HIP HOP/RAP: Alternative Hip Hop, WORLD: World Fusion

"It is truly one of the best cd I''ve come across in a long time!" -Mr. Miller at Wilbert''s Music

"On its debut CD, Thousands of One serves up political party music from the same galaxy as John Brown''s Body and J-San and the Analogue Sons. This is spiritual, Afrocentric funk-soul-reggae hip-hop hybrid. Things get a little post-romantic on "Jezebel", but generally the mood is pious, positive and unpretentious. The group is anti-corporate, pro-community, anti-hatred, and pro-sugar - all more or less unimpeachable positions. On "One More Hand", Jhakeem Haltom announces that he''s "like an ascetic monk in India / except I''m kinda loud."
Haltom''s got a great, clear voice that sometimes evokes Stevie Wonder and sometimes - oddly enough - Steely Dan''s Donald Fagen. Regan Carver''s sax solos stand out, but everything''s tied together by the capable production of Elliot Martin. Listening to the album, I''m kicking myself for not having se
en these guys in concert yet. These songs came together as a result of frequent jamming at the Rongo and elsewhere, and they do sound organic and involved, but not at all haphazard, and never, ever sloppy." -Casey Westerman - Ithaca Times 11/30/05

"Thousands of One" the ambitious self-titled Fall ''05 release on Ithaca, NY indie I-Town Records has been warmly received by critics and fans alike for its classic soul meets funk electro-remix sound.

Gaining notoriety for their spirited live shows in clubs and festivals throughout the northeast, Thousands of One jumps from activist/ retro soul -- think Olu Dara or Marvin Gaye - to underground hip hop a la Roots or Talib Kweli with a funk/rock edge.

Recorded at Shut-in Studios, Producer Elliot Martin combined his love of space age synth and analog knobs with a loyalty to the band''s eclectic live sound. Also vocalist - songwriter - producer of internationally acclaimed Roots Reggae band John Brown''s Body, Martin contributes harmony vocals and percussion on several tracks. The result is a work of art that explores uncharted sonic textures. The magic of this year old collective springs from its commitment to building a street vibe, ''paying their dues'' playing for the people at clubs, schools, music festivals, block parties, and community benefits. They strive to break down barriers of comfort and acceptability between artist and audience while funking the groove.

Before joining forces as Thousands of One, group members graced projects across the musical spectrum from hip hop & reggae, jazz & Motown to Nashville country. And shared the stage with artists from Lil'' G of multiplatinum 90''s r&b group Silk to groove rockers Left Over Salmon.

Influences? Listen closely and you might hear the echoes of teenage years spent singing in Mississippi church choirs, the frenetic funk of a New Years Eve party while Maceo Parker & Fred Wesley rocked the house; and utmost respect and admiration for legendary artists from Ella Fitzgerald and Willie Nelson to Black Star and KRS-1.

"Thousands of One" is a journey. It is a socio-political commentary, as well; a personal inquiry to the soul in search of roots, love and culture. Music with a mission.

::CD Guests::
Jordan Aceto represents the Sim Redmond Band (I-Town/Buffalo Records - Japan)
Elliot Martin, of John Brown''s Body adds vocals, tamborine, synth, moog, and arrangement.
Jay Spaker of J-San & the Analogue Sons (I-Town)
Lucente Sisters of Five-2 (ITown) lend their harmonies on several tracks.
Maurice Haltom Afro-Percussion master, father of vocalist Jhakeem Haltom and former member of Tower of Power.

::Production / Alchemy::
Elliot Martin: engineering and production
Pyramid Sound/Alex Perialas: Mastered through analog tube, tapes and digital EQ. Alex is a veteran of projects from Anthrax to Missy Elliot & Ginuwine.

from The Ithaca Journal July 14, 2005
"Thousands of One unveil CD"
Local band Thousands of One have come a long way since coming together a year ago, honing its eclectic blend of gospel, rock, soul, electronica and other organic elements into an inspiring sound.

From the start, Thousands of One have been community oriented in its mission. "The main goal when we got together was to be a collective that would bridge gaps in the community," says singer Jhakeem Haltom. "We''ve got the Alternatives-Greenstar crowd, but we still have the low-income housing and people who are disenfranchished who are jumping on to this philosophy that Ithaca says it wants to spread. That was what we wanted to do with our music."

The band''s popularity has rapidly grown, with out-of-town gigs on the horizon. Yet the band members are careful not to let their success distract them from their original goal. "As we''ve been doing things with the People''s Garden Project and the Northside Community Center, and making things happen on that level, I feel better about letting the music get out to the surrounding areas," says Haltom. "It is a surprise how much it''s grown."

Friday, the band will release its self-titled debut CD with a show at the Rongovian Embassy. It was recorded with producer Elliot Martin, singer with John Brown''s Body, who added a modern sensibility to the band''s organic grooves.

"It was Elliot who gave us that inspiration and that skill of production," credits Haltom. "He said, ''You guys sound pretty good, let''s bring it together," and he really inspired us and brought it to the next level"

Jsan and the Analogue Sons open the 10 p.m. show.

- article written by Jim Catalano

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