Jaimeo Brown – Transcendence (2013)

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Jaimeo Brown’s work on the forthcoming Transcendence reflects the stirring continuity of traditions, as Deep South gospel is melded with blues is melded with jazz is melded with rock is melded with hip hop is melded with electronica.

And just when you think you’ve got a handle on the remarkable alchemy at play here, he begins adding these otherworldly splashes of ancient East Indian Carnatic music, as well.

The results — bolstered with tons of in-the-pocket swing cred by the appearances of tenorist JD Allen and pianist Geri Allen, among others — sound something like acoustic jazz, but only at times. They’re something far more modern at times, too, thanks to the work of soundscape producer Chris Sholar.

They also bring in elements of the African-American spirituals associated with the Gee’s Bend Quilters, as the soaring rural Alabama vocalists are interwoven into these thrilling experiments in sound.

Taken together, Transcendence — due April 9, 2013 via Motema Music — becomes transfixing, provocative, deeply emotional, like John Coltrane (in particular on “Mean World”) or Randy Weston (on “Baby Meish”) but with dashes of rock (“Patience”) and of trance (“This World Ain’t My Home”), like nothing I’ve heard before.

It’s easy, as Brown finds the commonality in these seemingly disparate things, to credit his emergence as a part of the sampling generation. But a resume that includes everything from Wynton Marsalis and Q-Tip to Pharoah Sanders and Carlos Santana tells you the 34-year-old drummer absorbed these things organically — and that’s just the way they are presented.

Aptly named, Transcendence is an enveloping experience.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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