We’ve always been huge fans of REVIVE Music, the ever-evolving multi-faceted operation spearheaded by fellow jazz fanatic and founder Meghan Stabile. We greatly admire their entrepreneurial spirit and their passion for the music, which they incessantly preach to anyone who will take the time to listen. REVIVE runs an online publication similar to ours, but also organizes and promotes unique and innovative concerts featuring the who’s who of the neo jazz illuminati. A few years ago, they also teamed up with Blue Note Records to co-release three groundbreaking albums, namely drummer Otis Brown III’s The Thought of You, the group effort REVIVE Music Presents: Supreme Sonacy (Vol. 1), and saxophonist Marcus Strickland’s Nihil Novi. Not content to rest on her laurels, Stabile is now taking things a step further with the launch of a new independent label division marked by the May 11th release of Harlem-based collective Freelance’s debut Yes Today.
Freelance features an all-star lineup of musicians comprised of founding leaders Smithsoneon (vocals) and Ausar the Ambassador (keyboards) along with Craig Hill (saxophone), Yasser Tejeda (guitar), David “Dj” Ginyard (bass) and Justin Tyson (drums). The album also features harpist Brandee Younger, organist Mitch Henry and acclaimed trumpeter (and band mentor) Darren Barrett. Self-described as “born from the sonic footprints of Mint Condition, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, and Robert Glasper”, Freelance merges jazz with neo soul by way of hip-hop and R&B in what can only be described as genre-defying effort which undoubtedly achieves the units’ goal of making people “fall in love with the idea of a band again.”
Watch the video for their latest single, “Your Love”, below. Yes Today is out now via REVIVE music.
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.