MP3 Zwee (EP) - URBAN/R&B: Funk
They serve up delicious, funky grooves and memorable melodies delivered with fun, emotion, and intelligence; Zwee sounds like Curtis Mayfield jamming with U2.
4 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Funk, ROCK: Jam-band
Frank Zweback vocals guitar harmonica/ James Smith bass
Bobby Navarro, saxophoneJohn Edward Ross, guitar
Jessica Zweback, vocals, drums, keyboard
This is not rock but it rocks; it''s not funk but it''s funked up. This is not some singer/songwriter revealing his inner demons, but the singing and the song writing are honest, intelligent, and passionate. And this is not jazz, but there is enough swing, improvisation, and mystery to keep you on your toes. Zwee is not the first to combine r&b, rock, funk, and jazz; but it is one of the few that do it well and with an intense, positive energy that is undeniable. The members of the group come from varied musical and cultural backgrounds, and the space between these differences is where Zwee exists.
Zwee has just released its first CD, a four song self titled EP produced by John Edward Ross, and after only a little more than one year they have earned two Houston Press Music Awards: Best Funk/Soul/R&B and Best Female Vocalist. Zwee''s shows burst with an energy and spontaneity best experienced live. While the CD does not ignore that side of the band, it utilizes each song as a palette for expansive, colorful sonic textures and sophisticated harmonies "best presented on record where you can actually hear them." [Ross] The CD showcases song craft, the subtlety and soulfulness of Frank and Jessicas'' singing, and the instrumental virtuosity endemic to the band. To accomplish this blend of abandon and refinement the recording process involved both ''live in the studio'' performing and a rigorous, creative use of the studio. "In addition to the wide variety of tones we got from traditional instruments, we resorted to rain sticks, bells, pots tops and other kitchen items to create some of the sounds we needed."[Ross] Zwee is currently performing at showcase venues in southeast Texas and has just launched the web site https://www.tradebit.com. Included on the site are samples from the EP, videos, free downloads of live songs, pictures, etc.
Zwee is the sum of its disparate parts, and the glue that holds it all together is a passion for groove and creativity. With influences as diverse as its ethnicities, Zwee draws inspiration from Curtis Mayfield, The Meters, Donny Hathaway, Radiohead, Fela Kuti, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Victor Wooten, The Bulgarian Women''s Chorus, Bill Withers, James Brown, Sting, Muddy Waters, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Arturo Sandoval, Daryl Hall, Bob Marley, and the I Three''s. The bio of each band member is impressive, with playing credits that include various national pop, gospel, r&b, and jazz acts.
Zwee was born out of Zwee and the Graveberries, a Houston group that released "Human Resources," a full length CD in 1995, and was quite active on the local and regional scene in the mid nineties. "By about 1997 I felt like Zwee and the Graveberries had run its course. In creating Zwee I wanted to keep the positive affiliation with ZGB''s history and at the same time differentiate it and step out in new directions in terms of writing and melody." [F. Zweback] James joined Zwee in 1998 and from day one the chemistry was undeniable. "James is an incredible bass player, and when he plays the love and joy he has inside flow out in a smooth and beautiful way." [F. Zweback] In the fall of 2000 they teamed up with Bobby who complimented and fed off of the deep groove and fierce sense of spontaneity inherent in Frank and James'' music. After performing around town and opening for a few name acts such as Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Widespread Panic, Zwee went into the studio to record. Seeking a producer, the band asked John Edward Ross, an established jazz/avant-garde/pop musician. "He has an amazing work ethic and a constant desire to push boundaries. I felt that working with him would bring the project to a new place."[F. Zweback] Through the five month process of working on the new EP he became part of the group. Jessica is Frank''s sister, and after having her perform on the CD and hearing "that great sound of siblings singing together," [Ross] Jessica became the final member of the band. She is a powerhouse to say the least--performing on drums and keys while spinning out the soulful melodies that earned her the Best Female Vocalist Award. If you like your groove deep, expansive, and soulful you need to hear Zwee.
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